Fafnir's Journal
» Greyhawk Calendar / Campaign Timeline     » Amassed Loot     » Monster Roster     » Current Party Stats    

Fafnir’s Bio

Character images copyright 1999-2002 Claudio Pozas. Used with permission.
After an unfortunate incident stemming from one of his early attempts at alchemy, Fafnir was “asked” to leave his childhood home. (No need to go into detail — suffice it to say it involved a member of the nobility, a goat, and what was meant to be a Love Potion....)

He travelled for a while as a tinker, before settling in Smallville in Bissel. Since arriving in town (a few years ago), he has managed to build a small house, and has supported himself by using his alchemy knowledge to mix up some concoctions for the locals (special brews, salves, etc.), as well as some pretty neat inventions.

There was a little rough spot in public relations the time he made the Chicken Powered Butter Churn — it didn’t work quite right. (And Farmer McGuire’s daughter will never be quite the same— but that’s a whole ‘nother story.) Since then, Fafnir has kept most of his inventions to himself.

Fafnir has also done some light blacksmithing, carpentry and glassmaking on the side. For some reason, the blacksmithing, carpentry, and glassmaking are much more popular with the locals than the alchemy and inventions!?!

On Festival days, Fafnir will often entertain the townsfolk with amazing displays of colorful lights and fanciful creatures. Sometimes when he is in town, children have been known to follow him around, requesting that he perform some ‘magic.’

Recently Fafnir acquired a Weasel as a familiar. The familiar has been named “Fingers,” as he always seems to be getting his little paws (or nose!), into something.

Although happy in Smallville, as of late, Fafnir has been feeling the urge to see some more of the world. For one thing, he would like to learn some more about both alchemy and the art of illusion, and Smallville hasn’t offered a lot of challenges. He also has dreams of being a great gnome Inventor, but doesn’t have the monetary assets needed to build some of the more complex machines.

But most of all, he just has a hankerin’ for some Adventure!

Character sheet: Fafnir Flamebrewer [Gnome Illusionist]
Companion sheet: Fingers [Weasel Familiar]

Posted by Dave on November 1, 2002, 21:00

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 1

So, There we were. Having set out from town to “explore” (explore being an adventurer’s term, meaning ‘loot’) the old Everston Manor, we arrived mid-day, just as the clouds were gathering, and it was looking like it was going to rain.

Anxious to get indoors, we began looking for an entrance. Ever the subtle ones, we decided to enter by knocking down the front door.... Good thing no one was home! The place was a mess. Once fine tapestries, and beautiful furniture all ruined by years of exposure. With Ghelt and Trap anxiously leading the way, we moved on...

...into the kitchen. Nothing here either. Wait! What’s that? Another doorway, leading to a tower. Now, this was getting interesting.

Things continued on without incident, until we arrived on the 2nd or 3rd floor, where the otherwise empty room was filled with cobwebs. Ignoring them at first, we suddenly started paying more attention when 2 large spiders decided that a gnome would make a good lunch! (Being the only gnome in the party, this was particularly bad for me.)

After one of the spiders took a nasty bite out of my hand, I decided it was time to put a stop to this. While Ghelt, Drusilia, and Trap were readying their weapons, I used some wizardry to put the spiders into a slumber... one from which they would never wake! (Thanks to my stalwart companions.)

Deciding there was nothing on the upper floors, we decided to head for the basement... this is where things got a little hairy. After fighting our way through a gang of goblins, we discovered what looked to be an alchemist’s or wizard’s lab! Unfortunately, everything was old and ruined.

Trap, ever curious, busied himself opening a door that just happened to be ‘stuck.’ Upon opening the door, we found two of the most disgusting creatures I have ever laid eyes upon! (So disgusting, in fact, that for a while I tried to convince myself they were an illusion.... they weren’t.) They were two vaguely human forms, but seemed to be made of a rare material which Drusilia referred to as ‘Sculpey.’

We fought and fought, but nothing we did seemed to be able to stop them. Finally, deciding that fleeing would maybe not be such a bad idea, we made a run for it. (During this time, Trap made an attempt to burn down the manor house.... I’m going to have to keep an eye on him!)

At this time, having cast as many spells as I could remember for one day, I suggested we find a lockable room and rest. Ghelt and Trap were dead-set against this idea... they wanted instead to head back to town! We discussed this briefly, and next thing I know, they are headed back towards the lab, to find out why the disgusting creatures didn’t follow us! Yipes!

Luckily for us, it appears that the two creatures are unable to leave the lab that they are imprisoned in, which prevented them from chasing us. Whew!

Continuing on, Trap found more locks to play with (and even an actual trap!). These particular locks were on a row of cells, that didn’t seem to contain anything other than a 3-armed skeleton (don’t ask, I don’t know why it had 3 arms).

Luckily someone had their eyes open, and one of my companions realized that the last cell had a hidden trap door in it. While we are all hoping the passage leads to treasure, and further adventure, I was finally able to get everyone to stop for the night.

Tucked in for the night, and having posted a sentry to keep an eye out for more goblins, spiders, or whatevers, we are now awaiting the morning to continue our quest....

Fafnir Flamebrewer
Somewhere in the wilds near Smallville,
The Land of Greyhawk
Freeday, Planting 7, 592 CY

Posted by Dave on November 19, 2002, 18:56

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Posted by Dave on December 6, 2002, 23:40

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ Fafnir Flamebrewer ~
592 CY

Posted by Dave on December 14, 2002, 22:48

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~= Fafnir Flamebrewer =~
Planting 10, 592 CY

Posted by Dave on December 22, 2002, 14:01

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~= Fafnir Flamebrewer =~
Planting 10, 592 CY

Posted by Dave on December 29, 2002, 02:37

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 6 - Home at last!

I am happy to say that I am writing this journal from the comfort of my own front porch. In other words, we made it back alive!

We didn’t run into much trouble getting everyone out of the crevasse, and Gildean was still there when we got back to him. After we gathered everyone together, we managed to drag the weakened people back to town on Valon’s tent. (It was probably a pretty funny sight, but it got the job done!)

After arriving in town, we immediately went to the Rat’s Egg and arranged food and lodging for the group we had rescued. A local boy was sent to fetch the druids who live on the outskirts of town, so that they could attempt to heal Gildean’s group. (Drusilia and Ghelt had both used up all of their healing abilities for the day.)

When everything was taken care of, we sat down for some food and relaxation, but it wasn’t meant to be. Drusilia came over and told us that she had been asked to remove some evil spirits that were haunting widow McGillis’s house, and that she was going to go check it out. Since I was ready to head home anyway, I volunteered to go along. Next thing you know, we were all going (including Trap, who had a room at the Inn — a room which he now has to pay for since he lost his job!!!)

Well, we arrived at Mrs. McGillis house to find that the ‘evil spirits’ were actually stirges. As we engaged them in melee combat, we asked Trap to take Mrs. McGillis outside and close the door behind him. He apparently misunderstood...

Instead of waiting outside, Trap decided to start shooting arrows into the melee!!! It was a 20’ x 20’ room, not an archery range! This had no effect on the stirges, but I am sorry to say that one of his arrows did hit me in the backside! Its a good thing I was out of spells, or he would have found himself in a MOST unpleasant situation.

As it was, the stirges decided that Trap looked like a tempting target (probably because he was waving only his bow around, instead of his sword!), and several of them latched on to him. Ironically, this let us kill them easier, and they were soon dispatched.

After cleaning up the house, we patched the hole the stirges had entered through, and Lady McGillis happily returned home. The rest of us then turned in for the night.

The next day, we divvied up the treasure we had found. We all got a goodly amount of gold, and also some items. I took possession of both a wand and two scrolls which we had found. I was making some progress identifying the wand, when Trap showed up, and offered to help. He assured me he was very good with magic devices, so I decided to let him have a try. (At the least, I figured it would be good for a laugh).

It turned out even better than I expected. Trap did indeed ‘activate’ the wand (of color spray, it turns out)... but not how he had hoped. Instead of spraying a wave of color in front of him, he sprayed himself, and is now a ‘multi-colored’ halfing! :) I hope it doesn’t wear off too soon!

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Planting 13, 592 CY

Posted by Dave on January 5, 2003, 02:11

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 7 - Still in Town

The remainder of our time in town has been quite ordinary. I did buy myself a crossbow and some bolts, and have also managed to get some time in the lab. I made some ‘powdered water,’ and brewed a number of potions to help us in our travels. (or at the very least to be sold/traded some time in the future).

We have now been in town about 10 days, and I (along with the rest of the party, I suspect) am getting restless to move on. After all, we still need to find a way to destroy the evil wand we found, and also there is that map leading to the ‘Heart of Nerull.”

It looks like we may be gone for a while.... I will need to remember to pay the Jenkins boy feed to the chickens and tend to the garden while I am gone. As for now, I am going to get a good night’s rest, in my own bed.... we’ll be back on the road (and sleeping on the ground) soon enough.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Planting 19, 592 CY

Posted by Dave on January 5, 2003, 02:15

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 8 - On the Road again

We are on the road again. After buying supplies, and a mule to carry them (hereafter to be referred to as “The Mule”), we set off north from Smallville, following the map we had found. The day went uneventfully, and as dusk approached, we neared a small farmhouse at the foot of the Barrier Peaks.

Thinking to stay the night with the farmers, we approached the house. Unfortunately, what we found was an empty house, with signs of a slaughter... blood everywhere, and no one to be found in the house or the barn! Upon further investigation, we did find a track of footprints and drag marks leading off into the mountains, and although we wanted to chase off after them immediately, we decided that we should wait until morning, as we were unfamiliar with the forest in this area, and were quite worn out from a long day of travel. All of the indications were that the residents were already dead, anyway. We set up camp near the farmhouse, and awaited the morning.

When morning arrived, we quickly gathered our gear and followed the tracks into the wilderness. Trap led the way, and we soon came to a cave entrance which the trail led directly into. Beside the entrance, there was a pole with a bunch of skulls impaled on it. This had to be the place.

Wasting no time, we proceeded into the cave, single-file. We then proceeded back out of the cave at a faster pace, after Trap set off an alarm! I am not of a “rogue-ish” nature myself, but it seems to me that setting off traps may not be the wisest way of detecting them?! But, I guess he knows his business.

In any case, the only one to follow us out was a goblin archer who began shooting at us from a ledge above the entrance. As everyone has a bow, we made quick work of him! Figuring that the rest of the creatures we were tracking were still waiting in the cave, we went back in with Valon leading the way.

A battle was soon to come... rounding a corner in the passageway, we came upon an Ogre and a half-dozen goblins! Valon was taken down almost immediately, yet he continued to bolster our efforts with his singing, even while laying on the ground fighting unconsciousness. Between my Magic Missiles, Ghelt’s axe, and Drusilia’s arrows, we managed to fell the Ogre quickly and then moved on to the goblins. At one point, a goblin in robes came and muttered some spell over the ogre, and the beast arose again! I am happy to say that the new “Flaming Sphere” spell that I learned in town came in handy to dispatch them both. Ghelt finished off most of the other goblins, except for one that Drusilia handled with a kick to the groin. I must say I felt sorry for the little creature as it let out a shriek and collapsed to the ground... nobody should go out like that!

As all of its companions were now felled, the one remaining gobbo ran off down another passageway, with Ghelt in hot pursuit, and me following behind. (At this point, I decided to use another one of my new tricks... I created 5 ‘Mirror Images’ of myself, to confuse any further enemies we ran into!). As we rounded another corner we were showered in a hail of javelins... thrown by another group of six goblins! Using the wand of color spray that we had found, I managed to disable four of them in a flash! The remaining two were handled by Ghelt, including one who had dropped his weapons, fallen to his knees and was pitifully begging to not be killed! At least his death was quick.... probably all the mercy the foul creature deserved. After ensuring that all of the goblins were indeed dead, we proceed to carefully search the rest of the caves.

We found the pit were the bodies of their unfortunate victims had been thrown, as well as a smelly bedchamber, and a locked door. The bedchamber contained nothing of interest, but Trap was itchin’ to examine the door closer.

Having determined there were no traps on the door, he proceeded to pick the lock, open the door, and get peppered with needles as he set off a needle trap that was rigged to the door!

Not to be discouraged, he proceeded into the room. (with the rest of us standing waaayyy back). “I’ve found an iron chest!” he proudly announced. After ensuring the party that the chest was “trap free,” he went ahead with trying to open it. This proved to be quite a task. A broken lockpick, a “shatter” spell, and a “mending” spell (for the lockpick) later, the box was still locked. After a suggestion from Ghelt, Trap took a different approach (to try and pry open the hinges rather than the lock), and the box was soon opened! Our enthusiasm was cut short though as Trap began coughing uncrontrollably.... once more the victim of gas trap on the box, that he had somehow missed.

Gathering the contents of the box, we prepared to leave the now-empty caves. While the rest of us were stopping for lunch, Ghelt insisted on dragging all of the bodies and stacking them in front of the cave. She said that this was to let people know the caves were “clear,” but I suspect all it will really do is attract a bunch of scavengers... oh well.

Now it looks like all of the bodies have been dragged to their final locations, and everyone else is done eating, so I guess it is time to move on towards the Heart of Nerull.

~= Fafnir Flamebrewer =~
Planting 21, 592 CY

Posted by Dave on January 12, 2003, 11:42

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 9 - Travels

We have spent the last several days travelling in the direction indicated on the map we found in the temple of Nerull.

Soon after leaving the “goblin cave,” we ran into an elven ranger who had followed us from town. Her name is Four Feather, and she claims she is looking for her lost uncle. Apparently she has now decided that her uncle may have gone the same way we did, as she is now travelling with us.

On the night of the 21st, Four Feather proved herself useful, as she was able to warn the party of an attack by giant spiders just before dawn! Everyone jumped to the attack! Four Feather wounded several with her bow, Valon was defending himself with his stick of sharpness, Ghelt was chopping away with her war-axe. Trap was throwing daggers everywhere, and I even got to use my new crossbow!

Drusilia, on the other hand, decided to try something a little different. Forgoing her sword (which she has shown she can handle well), she decided that a “flying tackle/kick” would be the best method of attack. Unfortunately, Ghelt was not expecting this, and could not get out of the way quickly enough. So instead of wounding the spider, Drusilia ended up tackling Ghelt. It wasn’t pretty. (However, I would be lying if I didn’t mention that it was VERY funny! :-D )

Luckily Ghelt was able to get back to her feet and finish off the last spider, and the rest of the night was uneventful.

The day of the 22nd passed uneventfully, and soon we were setting up camp near a small stream. Ghelt and Four Feather headed towards the stream to bathe (Ghelt) and fish (Four Feather). I took this opportunity to use my Silent Image to replay and critique Drusilia’s “Wild Elven War Charge” as she describes it. Whatever it’s called, the people at the Rat’s Egg are going to love this! I will need to work with Valon to get the proper music to accompany it.

Soon Ghelt was back and grumbling something about “crazy elf” and “probably will get eaten by a bear.” Four Feather showed up a little later, out of breath, and told us of some Giant tracks in the area. I was relieved to see she had not been eaten by a bear, but from what Ghelt tells us, we should keep an eye on her, to see if she continues to “act crazy”.

As we went to sleep for the night, I could have sworn I heard some strange music from off in the distance. It soon faded away, but it left me feeling very nervous.

We continued our travels uneventfully on the 23rd. At one point we had the choice of continuing on our current path, or heading towards Ghelt’s homeland. We chose to continue after the Heart of Nerull, and after several more hours of travel, we made camp. The night passed without incident, although we did hear some wolves howling in the distance.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Planting 24, 592CY

P.S. “The Mule” is holding up admirably, though I still think the party was a little too quick to shoot down my idea of using a cart pulled by a team of giant chickens. I guess they are still upset about the “butter churn incident.” I will have to work extra-hard to get them to realize that “chicken power” is a vast untapped resource, and is certainly the way of the future.


Addendum: We have just stopped briefly, and I thought I would add an additional note. We have discovered what appears to be an Orc Totem. (We know this because Drusilia recognized the orc god of Gruumsh on the totem.). Ghelt double-checked the map and made sure this is the direction it indicates, so it looks like we will be entering Orc country. I think we will be OK if we keep our wits about us, but with some of the things that have happened in the past with Trap, and the strange actions of Four Feather, I am feeling a little nervous. I guess all we can do it hope for the best.


Posted by Dave on January 19, 2003, 12:03

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 10 - Orcs!!

While continuing to follow our map towards the Heart of Nerull, we came across an Orc encampment. We were planning to find a safe way to pass without notice, when Four Feather returned with the news that this wasn’t just an Orc village, but a mine…. A mine in which humans, gnomes, halflings, elves, and kobolds were being forced to work as slaves!

Before long we had come up with a plan to stage a surprise attack on the Orcs and free the slaves. Waiting until nightfall, we snuck upon the Orc village, and launched our attack. Four Feather led the way with her arrows, taking out the guard post, and the rest of us charged in to battle the rest of the orcs, who were now swarming out of their caves!

It was a hard fought battle, and there were a couple times it looked like we wouldn’t survive, but in the end we managed to kill all of the Orc slavers. It was not without its price however, as Four Feather was slain in the battle.

I had just given her a potion to heal her wounds when we were attacked by one of the Orc leaders. The Orc was coming for me, but Four Feather attacked him from her position on the ground, giving us enough time to kill him! Sadly, with his last blow, he managed to end Four Feather’s life. Drusilia rushed over to assist, but there was nothing to be done.

We didn’t get a chance to know Four Feather well, but she will be missed.

While we were trying to revive Four Feather, Ghelt and Trap (!) managed to finish off the rest of the slavers. Apparently Trap managed to fight off a whole squad of them with only his bow! Maybe he would be better suited as a marksman, rather than a trap-finder?

After making sure all the orcs were dead, we attempted to free the slaves. While we were able to remove their chains, they all have a collar which we cannot remove, and which prevents them from leaving the Orc camp. One of the slaves has told us that these collars were put on them by the “Witch Lord,” and can only be removed by him. It looks like we have our work cut out for us.

Having freed the slaves of their Orc masters, it looks as if we will now need hunt down this “Witch Lord,” so that we can remove the collars and allow the prisoners to return to their homes. In one of the Orc caves we found a halfling by the name of Korin Greenmeadow whose collar had not been attached properly, and he has volunteered to accompany us.

With the loss we have suffered, we are all feeling very sad, but with this new purpose, we will press on. We will free the slaves. We will avenge Four Feather. And yes, someday, we will find the Heart of Nerull.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Planting 24, 592CY

P.S. Valon has decided to carry Four Feather’s body back to Smallville, so that she can have a proper burial, so we will be losing his company for a while, as well. I think this is probably a good idea. While he is good at fighting with his ‘stick,’ he does take a lot of hits, and I would not want him to meet the same fate as Four Feather.

Posted by Dave on January 28, 2003, 22:17

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 11 - Tower of the Witch Lord!?

I am making this entry while sitting in the (presumed) tower of the Witch Lord!... Having rested the night in the Orc Encampment, our part set forth to find the tower of the Witch Lord. We had been given instructions by the slaves we had freed, and after half a day’s travel, we arrived at the top of a ridge that overlooked a valley containing a stone tower surrounded by stone huts. While we were keeping a low profile, and discussing what our next move would be, our new companion (Korin) decided to head off by himself to the tower. The Trap decided to go along. (I am starting to think I may have discovered something about halflings.... rather than having a hive mind as some insect or rats seem to, where more individuals = higher intelligence, I think halflings have quite the opposite —- the more halfings you have, the lower their intelligence gets.... thereby leaving us with nothing but half-wit halfings! —- I will certainly have to observe them further to see if this is true... but I digress.) In any case, Ghelt could not let them go off on their own, so she followed at a safe distance, leaving Drusilia, me, and The Mule behind. Suspecting that something important (or at least funny) might happen, we tied off The Mule to a nearby boulder, and settled in to watch the show. We didn’t have long to wait. Korin and Trap checked three of the Fifty or so huts that surrounded the tower. Finding them empty, the promptly forgot about the other 47 and proceeded to try and get into the tower. The doors were shut and barred from the inside, so the halfings decided that using a cro-bar as a grappling hook was the wisest choice. They managed to throw it towards the top of the tower twice. The first time, the cro-bar landed with a thud! on Trap’s head. (I laughed so hard, I nearly lost my shoe! ) The second time it came crashing down on the stone stairs. It made a noise loud enough to wake the dead! No sooner had I thought this than the dead did in fact start appearing! Dead Orcs that is! Fun is fun, but now Drusilia and I had to rush to our companions aid. With Drusilia’s ability to turn back the evil zombies, we were able to hold our own for a while. Many a zombie fell to Ghelt’s axe as well, but eventually we realized that we needed a way to escape... there were just too many of them! Heading for the tower, I pulled out one of the potions I had made back in Smallville. Drinking it down, I grabbed the rope the dimwits halflings had left lay, and spider climbed up the side of the tower. I tied the rope off, and soon everyone had climbed up to safety, leaving the zombies below. Entering the tower, we found several empty rooms, which Trap eagerly began to search. This was apparently too dull for Korin and Ghelt, as the two of them took off down a staircase together! Soon the sounds of a scuffle could be heard below, and Drusilia and I ran to assist. (see a pattern here?) Trap had apparently had enough of these antics, because he just continued searching alone. Strange fellow. At the bottom of the staircase, we found yet more Orc zombies fighting our companions. Luckily Drusilia was able to once more call upon the power of her God, and we dispatched them quickly. It is as we are resting after the combat, that I am writing this entry. Although, as I wrote above, we presume this is the Witch Lord’s tower, we have not seen hide nor hair of him yet, and that makes me a little nervous. Uh-oh.. I better wrap this up. It looks like Korin and Ghelt are ready to wander off again... Until the next entry — ~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~ Planting 25, 592CY
Posted by Dave on February 15, 2003, 01:15

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 12 - Make That the (Wannabe) Lich Lord!

As I mentioned before, we were just preparing to rest. Before we did, we decided to examine the book that Trap had found. It turned out to be the Journal of the Witch Lord. We began reading it, but were disrupted by the screams of Korin from the room below! When we ran to his aid, we found him being attacked by an undead elf! (Apparently he had been making quite a racket, and attracted the thing’s attention.)

We were able to dispatch the horror, but not before it had drained much life from Korin.... Knowing that he would need treatment, we locked ourselves in one of the other rooms and rested for a day, while Drusilia and Ghelt looked after the half-wit. He is looking a little better now, but is not back to his normal self.

After resting, we explored the rest of the tower. Trap was zapped as a lightning bolt came flying from a door he had decided was NOT trapped, and the rest of the party went diving for cover. (That lightning bolt would be a useful spell to know... I may have to look into that further.) Behind the door, buried in a pile of garbage, Trap found a sword with the symbol of Pelor on it. Drusilia looks a little concerned about letting him use it, but so far it is working out OK.

Continuing below, we eventually came to the lab of the Witch Lord! In the center of the room was a glowing blue crystal. Standing nearby was another undead elf, and off in the corner was the Witch Lord himself. The Witch Lord looked awful, as if his skin had all been sewn onto his body!!! Some pieces kept falling off! As Trap and Ghelt rushed into combat, Drusilia began praying for her God to smite the undead fiends. She was able to turn the Undead Elf to dust, but the Witch Lord was unaffected!

Thinking this might have something to do with the glowing crystal, I cast a Magic Missile at the crystal and shattered it! At first I was excited, but then a voice shouted “At Last! I am free!” and I began to worry.

It seems that my worry was misplaced however, as with a Flaming Sphere, Trap and Ghelt’s Fighting, and Drusilia’s turning power, we were soon able to dispatch the Witch Lord. Further examination of his journals showed that he had failed in his attempt to become a Lich, and that had left him trapped in his current Undead state. It had also caused the tower and everything around it to age drastically... thus explaining all of the undead orcs!

After searching the the Witch Lord’s lab (in which we found lots of loot — some rings, a potion, a wand, and more!), we explored the rest of the tower and found the scepter we had been told about. We soon headed out to free the slaves.

Once we arrived back at the mine, Drusilia was able to release the collars using the Witch Lord’s Scepter. Now the slaves are free, and we must move on towards the Heart of Nerull. It is obvious that other forces are still seeking the evil Relic and we must find (and destroy) it before they succeed!.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Planting 27, 592CY

P.S. - One of the rings allows me to cast more spells, and another is a Ring of Jumping! The wand casts a spell which I believe is Melf’s Acid Arrow. I gave the other ring (which had a protection magic of some type on it) to Drusilia, but she didn’t want it and gave it to Korin... Its now sitting unworn in his backpack, I believe. Oh well — maybe when he does something dimwitted enough to get killed, his backpack will survive. I guess I am most surprised he didn’t put the thing on his cro-bar to protect it!


Posted by Dave on February 23, 2003, 00:16

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 13 - Ghelt Killed The Mule!

Ghelt Killed The Mule. Poor “The Mule.” He never knew what hit him. One minute he’s standing there, surrounded by friends, the next minute, he’s floating to his death. Poor Mule.

It all started after we freed the slaves. Someone had the not so bright idea to ask the Kobold slaves for help. Despite my insistance that kobolds should not be trusted, the rest of the party seemed to think it was a good idea, so I went along with it... for a while.

When we arrived at the kobolds’ cave, they proceeded to show us the “shortcut” they had told us would take us to the Heart of Nerull. The “shortcut” turned out to be riding in a sealed barrel down an underground river! As I was starting to state that there was no way in the Nine Hells that I was going to ride in a barrel down the river, the two dimwits (Trap and Korin) jumped into barrels, were thrown into the river, and floated away!

This was enough for me! I was ready to take The Mule, and head back out of the caves — either to take the overland route, or to go back to Smallville. The normally sane Ghelt decided at this point that I would NOT be leaving, but instead me and The Mule would be going down the river! Before I knew what she was doing, she had tied two barrels to the poor beast and heaved him into the water! With a pathetic moan, the poor beast was swept away. Then she turned to me with a crazed look in her eyes... She was a little too quick for me, and quickly stuffed me into a barrel! Certain that this would lead to my death, I did the only thing I could — I let a lightning bolt fly, destroying the barrel and wounding some bystanders.

This gave me the element of surprise, and I began running towards the exit. Ghelt rounded up a bunch of the kobolds and began giving chase. I turned invisible, and I thought for a minute I would get away, but there were too many kobolds, and eventually they were able to find me. As a last ditch effort to keep myself from what I believed to be a watery grave, I tried another Lightning Bolt, but to no avail. Ghelt was able to get a hold of me and soon had me tied up.

Before long, they had thrown me in a barrel and I was tossed into the river. There were many bumps and scrapes during the journey, the most painful of which was a very large WATERFALL that the barrel went over! I was quite sore when someone (it turned out to be Korin) began steering my barrel towards shore. The halfing had decided to pop the lid on his barrel after going over the waterfall — and it’s a good thing! Had he waited any longer, all of our barrels would have fallen over another waterfall, to our certain death!

As it is, we are all safe on the shore of a small lake, between the two waterfalls. All of us except “The Mule” that is. Thanks to Ghelt’s insistance that we travel underwater instead of overland, he is dead.

I am glad the party is OK, but I am still angered at Ghelt’s actions. There is no reason that I should not have been allowed to make my own decision about how to travel! I am after all, a fully grown Gnome, not a child!

Once we were out of the barrels, I considered just packing up and heading back to Smallville. If this is how things are going to be, I am not sure I still want to be part of this group! The only thing stopping me is the feeling that something must be done to prevent the Heart of Nerull from falling into evil hands. I would not feel right abandoning my quest at this point.

So, I will travel onward with the group. But I will be keeping an eye on Ghelt. I no longer feel I can really trust her with the party’s safety.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Flocktime 3, 592 CY

Posted by Dave on February 28, 2003, 22:50

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 14 - Live Stupid, Die Stupid

Once more, the direction of our travels has been decided by Halflings. This time it resulted in one of them dying.

Soon after waking, Trap and Korin started exploring. Looking down over a nearby waterfall they saw a group of hobgoblins and a Hill Giant. To most people this would seem like a bad thing, but to the Half-wits, this spelled F-U-N.

Korin’s response was to try to jump in a barrel and “ride the waterfall.” Not wanting to see this happen, Ghelt and I attempted to keep him in camp by sealing him in the barrel. Meanwhile, Trap decided that he would get the F-U-N to come to us, and began trying to attract their attention. After succeeding at this, he came back to camp and pushed the barrel (containing Korin) into the water. (I have no idea why he did this, other than maybe that Korin was requesting it.)

We were about to do something about getting Korin out of the lake, when we were attacked by the Hobgoblins and their Hill Giant friend!

It was a long fight, and we only barely survived. I ended up using almost all of my offensive spells, and all of our fighters were in pretty bad shape (except for Korin, who was happily riding the falls in a barrel!).

I was relieved to still be alive, but apparently the stress had been too much for Ghelt. Immediately following the battle, she took the Holy Sword of Pelor that Trap had been wielding, and threw it into the lake!!!

Trap and Drusilia both jumped in the lake to get it, while Ghelt then took off downstream, presumably to find Korin. Drusilia managed to find the sword, but Trap, having not removed his armor before jumping in, was swept downstream and over the waterfall. Luckily, he landed in a net, and all was well. (By ‘well,’ I mean he wasn’t dead yet — we did find him and Korin cannibalizing some fellow halfings and wearing their scalps, but I don’t want to remember that any more than I have to.)

Holy Relic recovered, we followed after Ghelt. This is when the other Hill Giant attacked! We all began to run. After all, we barely killed the previous one, and had no chance in the nine hells of killing another! Apparently Trap and Korin disagreed, as after a minute, they stopped, turned around, and hid behind trees! Not sure what to make of this, the rest of us stopped and hid as well, a bit further on. (I don’t know about the others, but I was hoping the Hill Giant would not see us, and would pass by... No such luck.)

No sooner had the giant come within 100 paces, then Trap and Korin both leaped out from behind their trees and attacked the Giant! Well, the Giant would have none of it, and soon Trap was dead, and Korin mortally wounded. Not seeing a choice, I was preparing to save my own life by fleeing, when we were rescued by some passing Stone Giants. Apparently they are much friendlier than the Hill variety. This did allow Drusilia to heal Korin, but as I said before, it was too late for Trap. Ahh, well, Live Stupid, Die Stupid, I guess.

The rest of us travelled off to the Stone Giant’s town, where we are now resting. The party’s intelligence level seems to have risen a bit, now that we only have one halfing, but only a little — It seems Korin now believes that he is both Korin AND Trap, and is doing quite well at being even more scatterbrained than they were before. I am not sure what this says about my theory of halfling intellect. Ahh, well, Live Stupid, Die Stupid I suspect.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Flocktime 3, 592 CY

Posted by Dave on March 14, 2003, 16:30

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 15 - New Companion, Travels Continue, Ouch!

We have moved on from the stone giant’s home, and we have gained a new companion as well.

After doing some trading with the stone giants (through which I was able to obtain a scroll with a new spell - feather fall), the stone giants were kind enough to look at our map, and give us more directions that should lead us to the Heart of Nerull. We were then ready to leave.

Before going, Drusilia thought to check with them to see if they might need some of her healing powers. Although the giants themselves were fine, they did mention that they had found a human who could use some help, as he was very badly beaten.

The giants led us into a room where we saw the most mangled human ever! It was with some dismay that we realized (after the healing), that his appearance wasn’t entirely caused by his wounds! Feeling sorry for the chap, we asked him about his colorfully decorated armor. (I thought maybe his children had painted it for him...)

Jonathan (as we learned was his name), explained that he was a fighter, and that he followed the god Mayaheine, whose symbol he had painted on his shield. Grateful for the healing that we had given him, and lacking any other plans, he offered to accompany our group, and give us protection. He seemed to be eager to help, and we agreed to let him join our party.

Our travels continued uneventfully for a while, with the only odd thing being Korin. He thinks he is still talking to Trap, and has decided that he can perform all of the same rogue-like skills... to this end he has offered to be our ‘scout’. I have encouraged this, as we don’t have a rogue right now, and I figure that Korin will do as good as any.... either he will learn the needed skills to stay alive, or he will at least have fun dying trying.

Near the end of our first day’s travel, we came upon a cave in a cliff face. When Korin climbed up to examine it, there came a beautiful singing from the cave. Wanting to hear it better, I immediately spider climbed up the wall and followed Korin in.

This bit is rather disturbing, as I have no memory of it - Apparently the rest of our party chased after us and found Korin and I having our skin eaten(!) by harpies. Luckily they were able to kill the harpies before we were entirely consumed!

I can’t believe that I was so easily affected by their music. Maybe if Valon were here, he could have helped. I remember him speaking to me once of songs and countersongs, but I think you need some kind of special training to do that. We spent the night near the edge of the cave, so that we would have some shelter. (though this did take some persuading from Ghelt, who isn’t acting quite as crazy today as she has the past few - apparently some of the information the giants gave us has her quite shaken.)

The next day’s travel was quite uneventful, until we set up camp for the night. That night we were attacked by a large group of huge talking wolves! The wolves taunted us, and skulked amongst the boulders, until we were able to goad them into attacking. (we wanted to get it over with, so we could rest the remainder of the night!).

Ghelt, Jonathan, Drusilia, and I all gathered on an outcropping of rock, while Korin went out amongst some boulders, to do whatever it is that he does. We were able to kill several of the wolves, and chase the others away, but not before most (or all) of us were bitten at least once!

I am not sure what Korin was thinking, but rather than using his sword for the battle, he decided that he would use a large ring he had purchased from the giants. Now, when I say large, I mean the ring is large enough for Korin to wear as a headband! He did manage to loop the ring around one of their heads, and was riding the wolf for about 3 seconds before it threw him off, and fiercely started biting him. I am not sure why he did these things in the middle of battle, rather than helping us fight, but I guess that is just ‘his way’. Maybe he is tired of only talking to Trap, and wants to join him in the afterlife? Only Korin knows.

In any case, once the wolves ran off, we were able to rest throughout the night. Drusilia did display some concern that they might have been Werewolves, and that we could all be at risk for lycanthropy! Hopefully, her prayers will give her the knowledge to determine if that is the case, and if so, to heal us! If not, we may have even more troubles.

For now, we are breaking camp and moving on.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Flocktime 6, 592CY

P.S. I am hoping we find a safe place to rest for a day or two, so that I can copy my new spell into my spellbook, but the chances of that are looking pretty slim. ~ FF

Posted by Dave on March 23, 2003, 11:25

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Starday, Flocktime 8

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


Posted by Dave on April 5, 2003, 23:53

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 17 - No Way Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~
Deep Beneath Barraktor

Posted by Dave on April 12, 2003, 11:49

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

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

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

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

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

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

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave on April 19, 2003, 03:10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave on April 26, 2003, 23:43

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 20 - When Jokes go Wrong

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

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

Posted by Dave on April 28, 2003, 01:43

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

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 on May 17, 2003, 12:37

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

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 on May 23, 2003, 16:45

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 23 - Too Many Elves

After all of the death and destruction that took place this morning, the rest of the day seems rather uneventful. We cleared a tower of Vampires, and found two more elves that are now following us around.

We freed “Pockets” and Aramil from a tower that seems to have belonged to some vampires. They have not explained how they got there or what they are doing in the city of the dead, but Ghelt and Drusilia offered to let them travel with us anyway. “Pockets” seems like he might be a useful sort, since he seems to know his way around a lock or trap.... But I do think we might want to keep an eye on our belongings... at least until we are sure we can trust him... more on that in a bit.

Aramil is another story. He claims to be a wizard, yet he carries a sword and wears armor. I am not sure what to make of him yet, but I suspect he is not too bright. What kind of wizard wears armor, let alone jumps into combat without even taking stock of the situation first? Not to mention that he doused the ‘Vampire’ tower in oil and set it aflame while we were all still inside of it! I really don’t feel safe having someone so impulsive travelling with us.

Regarding the “trust” issue - I have noticed several times since we rescued these two, they go off by themselves and whisper in each others ears. At first I thought the were just being “elfy,” but after overhearing one of their conversations, I am not so sure... they were talking about getting “something” and how much they were going to be paid. Also, pockets asked if we had found “the key” yet.... How would he know about that? I suspect that these two may also be hunting the “Heart,” but for less virtuous reasons than our own. Hopefully I will be proven wrong, but until we know for sure, I don’t think we can trust them. I wish Ghelt and Dru hadn’t invited them to travel with us... I would have sent them packing.

We are now heading off to explore the large tower in the center of Arun-tosa. I sense we are nearing the end of our quest. Hopefully our two new tagalongs will prove more of a help than a hinderence.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave on June 7, 2003, 00:16

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 24 - Ramblings

Once again, I have come to the conclusion that I really, really hate undead. Especially Vampires... they are just too much work to kill. In fact, this whole “city of the dead” is really getting on my nerves. I must continue to study that “teleport” spell, so that I can get myself (and maybe some of the other party members), the heck out of here. Of course, we need to destroy the damned Heart of Nerullfirst, but after that, I sure don’t think I want to stick around any longer than I have to.

Pockets is becoming a problem. Every time I try to hide — err, I mean “strategically position myself” at the back of the party, he is already there. I will have to have a little conversation with him. Maybe we can work out some kind of time-sharing agreement. Standing near the front is likely to get me killed! Just today, one of those !$%&! vampires grabbed a hold of me and tried to drain my life away! Luckily, Fate intervened and I am OK.

On a good note, we seem to have made a new friend. He tells us his name is Aramis, and he is a celestial being of some sort. He was being held prisoner in the large tower in the center of Aruntosa... apparently for a very long time. (Possibly since the fall of Barraktor). When we found him he was chained by four magical chains that he told us could only be cut by someone ‘Pure of Heart’. At that point, I figured the guy was out of luck with us, but amazingly Ghelt was able to cut them after all.

After freeing him, he was kind enough to heal us... (But not until he was sure that our goal was indeed to destroy the Heart of Nerul. He even seems to believe that Pockets has good intentions. Hmmm.) Apparently he has quite a twisted a sense of humor, though, as he also brought Aramil back to life...

It didn’t seem like a nice thing to do, since the poor guy will probably just get himself killed again anyway... Magic and Metal don’t mix, as my grandpa used to say. Maybe I will have a talk with the fellow, and try to set him straight. Fingers doesn’t think this will work, but I might just give it a try anyway. Fingers did say that he would rather have a “chat” with Jacob instead, but I wouldn’t let him.... I heard that touching toads could give you warts. Besides, the last time fingers ate a frog, he got sick inside my backpack. No more of that, thank you very much.

In any case, it doesn’t seem like there will be much time for that now, as Aramis has told us what we need to do to retrieve the heart. We must travel into the catacombs beneath Aruntosa and Kill the vampire Kartharsis, to get the key to the heart’s chamber. Another &#!&# vampire. (well actually the same one)... At least Aramis has agreed to help us, although what help he intends to offer has yet to be seen... he claims he will be too weak to do much until we have the heart... Maybe that time-share at the back of the party will need to be split among three rather than just two?

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave on June 15, 2003, 01:09

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 25 - Wandering the Streets

As of tonight, we are still wandering the streets of Arun-tosa.

Following the advice of Aramis, we are searching for someone name ‘Urkel’. I say we are searching, but mostly the party just seems to be wandering around. Aramis clearly told us that Urkel would be found in the catacombs beneath the city, but after a brief foray, the rest of the party decided that they didn’t believe him, and we have been wandering the streets ever since.

I am going to have to be more careful in the future about letting Valon “look” at things. I managed to find a magic earring in one of the abandoned shops. I had not yet figured out what it did, when Valon asked to examine it. Believing him to be the trustworthy sort (ha!), I let him. He soon discovered that is was a magical set of lockpicks, and promptly presented them as a gift to Pockets! Now, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t have given them to Pockets anyway (after all, I don’t any use for lockpicks, and Pockets does seem to be a rogue-ish sort), but it would have been a bit of common courtesy to have at least asked me first, since I was the one who found them. Fingers says its probably because they are both elves, and Valon might be a little “sweet” on Pockets. I don’t know about that, but in any case, I am going to be more careful in the future.

I have been trying to convince Aramil that being a wizard is a lot smarter than trying to be a “magic” fighter, or whatever it is that he fancies himself. I even went so far as to give him a scroll with Mirror Image on it, that I have been carrying. We’ll see if it helps at all.

Thanks to Drusilia’s good eyes, we found another entrance to the catacombs in a building with a symbol of the sun carved above the door. Once more the party has decided to avoid the catacombs in favor of wandering the streets. I am not sure why they even asked for Aramis’s advice, as they seem keen on ignoring it. To me, a symbol of the sun indicates something good, not “Danger”! I would have at least thought Drusilia would agree, but she did not.

Trapped in the streets, chased by undead, and soaked by a pounding rain, we continue to wander. I turned myself into a small gold dragon, so I could take flight if necessary, but I am not sure that will really save me, let alone the rest of them.

I do think I figured out that teleport spell, but until we can rest, even that won’t help. Maybe I will try talking some more sense into the rest of the party. At least if we were in the catacombs we might be out of the rain.


P.S. - It’s a good thing Fingers learned to scribe my thoughts into my journal while riding in my backpack. Otherwise, some of these entries would never get recorded! I only hope I can decipher and re-scribe them later. his handrwriting is atrocious! (IS NOT!!!! - fingers.)

FF (& fingers)

Posted by Dave on June 20, 2003, 22:58

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 26 - Rats and Vampires

After wandering the streets for what felt like most of the night, the party finally decided to return to the entrance to the catacombs that was located in the house with the sun marking. After Feather Falling into the catacombs, we found another crudely scratched sun symbol which assured us we were on the right track.

Soon we discovered why the symbols were so crudely drawn. Urkel, as it turns out, was a ghoul. A ghoul that still managed to follow his faith in Pelor from his previous life, when he was a paladin of Pelor! Luckily, Drusilia was out of turnings for the day, or she may have dusted the poor fellow before we found this out. She can be a little trigger-happy around undead sometimes. (Not that I can blame her!)

After resting, Urkel provided us with the information on where to find Kartharsis. He also provided Drusilia with a very nice mace, a new holy symbol, and a scroll. He then asked her to end his misery, which she did using the new mace. Rather than smashing him outright, it turned him to dust! Drusilia then gathered the dust, and after a moment of prayer, it turned to diamond dust! Thanks to Urkel, Drusilia was then able to restore us all to health!

Now we have made it to the lair of Kartharsis and are planning to enter. The trip here was uneventful, except for a swarm of rats and a couple vampire spawn that we had to handle.

I did find a moment when we weren’t in danger to play a little game with Aramil. When we re-entered the tower that he had torched earlier, I made an illusion as if the tower were not at all damaged! Being the arsonist that he is, he was very upset, and began ‘climbing’ the illusionary stairs looking for what could have gone wrong! This lasted only a few minutes before Ghelt put an end to it, but it was good for a laugh. Maybe it will also help him realize the power of magic, so he will quit playing at being a fighter?

In any case, it is time to concentrate on the task at hand, and I must prepare.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave on June 26, 2003, 08:02

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 27 - Can we go home yet?

We have defeated the Vampire ‘Kartharsis,’ and obtained the key which should get us the Heart of Nerull. I wanted to look around and see if Kartharsis had some treasure stashed away, but Ghelt was in a hurry to get out of there and back to check on Aramis. (She has become very attached to him, it would seem.).

I got some dirty looks for stopping to search as we were being rushed out of the catacombs, but I was worth it! I found a spellbook in the coffin of one of the Vampire Spawn.

Aramil has been following me around ever since.... I am going to have to wait until he is asleep before I can take a close look at it, as he keeps looking over my shoulder and preventing me from studying it properly. A quick glance did reveal that it contains some spells that I do not already know! (I might let Aramil take a look at it after I have copied the spells I am interested in... but not before. I saw him give his own spellbook to Pockets, and I wouldn’t want him to do the same with this one... who knows what that reckless fellow would do with it!)

Unfortunately, when we got to the center of town, we found that Aramis was gone. I must admit, I was hoping he would be able to restore our strength, as some of us were weakened by the attacks of the Vampire and his spawn. I was also hoping we could rest, so I could re-memorize some spells... but once more Ghelt insists we continue on.

I only hope, that in our weakened and tired state, we are a match for whatever may be guarding the Heart! I suspect it will be more than just a door with a fancy lock.

Personally, I just want to get the damned thing destroyed, removed or whatever it is we are supposed to do with it. Then we can get out of this place. I have had enough of the city of the dead!


Posted by Dave on July 13, 2003, 00:59

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 28 - Done with Undead

Home at Last!

We have finally left the cursed city of Arun-tosa, and returned to Smallville. I didn’t really think we would ever make it back, but good luck seems to have been on our side.

We managed to find the chamber containing the Heart of Nerull and no sooner did we get there than we were attacked by Arkon and his minions! (Including our one-time companion Korin, who appeared to have been turned into a golem!)

Being without any useful spells, there was not much I could do other than watch helplessly. Luckily, Valon had the sense to remove the heart from its resting place, which weakened the Arkon’s hold over Aruntosa enough to allow Aramis to teleport in and fight him! It turns out, that without the Heart on its altar, Arkon was no match for Aramis. After a short battle, the lich was downed.

Unfortunately, the room began to collapse at the same time as the lich! Aramis created a portal for us to leave through, and we all ran for it, stopping only to gather what treasure was in our path. There was much treasure that we were forced to leave behind. We escaped just as the chamber collapsed, and found ourselves outside of Smallville.

After having a drink at the Rat’s Egg tavern, and dividing our loot, we have all gone our seperate ways for the time being. Aramil and I are planning on studying up on some of the new spells we have found. (Aramil also seems insistent on playing with swords, but I am ignoring that behavior, in the hopes that he will outgrow it.) I am not sure what the others are doing, but they may be enjoying the “Carnival” which is currently in Smallville. I shall be sure to lock my doors while it is in town. Carnies can be interesting folk, but some of them have a habit of being “interested” in other peoples things as well. I wonder if Pockets would fit in?

In any case, I hope the rest of the group won’t be too anxious to get moving... I have some serious studying to do. Maybe I could even mix up a few more potions.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave on July 19, 2003, 09:45

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 29 - Death from Below

Since we were finally back in Smallville, I was hoping to get a lot of studying done. No such luck!

We have become involved in the investigation of several mysterious deaths/disappearances in Smallville. A couple strange coincidences led us to a gypsy woman travelling with the carnival in town. Using her crystal ball, she told us that there is an evil creature of some sort living in the caverns beneath Smallville... a creature that can pass through the earth with great ease, and is very, very hungry! (I believed her, as this information seemed to coincide with what we had learned so far...) We will have to hunt this beast down quickly, while we still have a town left!

Further discussion with the gypsy, on the subject of our future, was very disturbing. It would appear we are shrouded in darkness, and being pursued by great evil. I fear this is due to our posession of the Heart of Nerul, and it is obvious we must destroy it soon. The gypsy was able to give us some guidance in this... she said the temple of the void would be located at the highest peak in the Hellfurnaces Mountains a mere fourteen days hence. Yet another reason that we must quickly deal with the disturbance in Smallville!

During this time, not everyone was busy investigating... Pockets managed to get himself turned into a frog! (By the very same gypsy.... I must admit it seems an awful coincidence.)

At first we didn’t realize what had happened. I just assumed that this strange frog in my house was a ‘mate’ of Aramil’s familiar. Luckily Drusilia was able to realize the truth, and we managed to talk the gypsy into changing him back. She said that he should mind his manners in the future, so I am thinking maybe Pockets deserved the curse after all...?

In any case, after talking to the Gypsy, Drusilia, Ghelt, Valon, and I returned to my house to make plans about how we were going to try hunting down the underground menace. We were very surprised to find Aramil and Pockets lying on top of each other on the floor, looking as if they had been in some kind of brawl! I asked Fingers what had happened, but he just shrugged and said “It looked like some sort of strange mating ritual.” I am pretty sure he was joking, but I am definitely going to be keeping an eye on those two.... even if it was just a squabble, I should think they would have had a little more sense than to be fighting right now, what with all of the strange things going on in town lately....

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave on July 23, 2003, 23:09

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 30 - The Hunt

We still have not managed to find the beast that has been plagueing Smallville. Now it has taken one of our own — Aramil. At least his familiar, Jacob, was not taken, and we were able to determine from him that Aramil is now somewhere below Smallville, but is at least still alive.

Ghelt’s answer to finding the creature was to start digging (with only a shovel!!) in the middle of her front yard. The rest of us didn’t think this was a great idea, as excavating a passage can take a very long time. Also, we already know of at least one tunnel complex beneath Smallville, and it seemed to make more sense to check there first. Once Aramil was taken, Ghelt agreed to accompany us to the Everston estate to check them out. More than once, though, I heard her grumbling about how deep the hole she was digging would have been by now if she weren’t stomping about wasting time on a “fool’s errand” in tunnels that were obviously (to her) not where we should be looking.

Well, we have spent a day checking them out, and it appears that Ghelt was right about these tunnels being a dead end. So now we are headed back to Smallville, where Ghelt insists she will be digging straight down from her front yard. I spoke to Drusilia a bit, and she asked why we hadn’t taken her suggestion of checking to see if anyone in town had an unusually deep basement, or maybe had noticed a strange cave-in in their basement that might be a good starting place.... I am a little embarrassed to say that I hadn’t heard her suggest that before. If we were starting beneath the ground, at least we might lure the creature in more easily... after all, we know it doesn’t like the light.

In any case, it seems (by the behaviour of Jacob), that at least Aramil is still alive. All we can really do is continue to try to find him, even if our attempts to this point have been futile.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave on August 2, 2003, 11:08

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 31 - Following the Toad. Again.

After heading back to town, so that Ghelt could begin her excavation, She soon came to her senses, and decided that we should once more try to have Jacob lead us to Aramil. Jacob led us right back to the Everston estate. One of us came to the realization that there was another tunnel that might prove to be the correct one... the old collapsed tunnel we had found when we originally explored the catacombs under the estate!

Once we got to the cave-in, Jacob was getting very excited... we were finally on the right track! Ghelt began to dig, but was making very slow progress. She seemed to think that the passage was not safe to dig in, and by the amount of dirt that was falling all around us, I think she was right.

Drusilia, pockets, and I decided to go check out the seal of Pelor we had found... it was right around the corner, and we were hoping it might be protecting another passageway. Drusilia examined the seal, and proclaimed it to be safe. Thinking that her holy symbol might work as a key, she walked up to the door and proceeded to press her symbol to the center of the door with an audible “thunk.” The “thunk” was followed by a flash of light! After my eyes re-adjusted, I saw Drusilia sitting on the floor holding a charred holy symbol, with a dazed expression on her face.... apparently she had been wrong about what the seal on the door was for. Closer examination be Pockets and me revealed the door was actually warded with a Disintegrate spell! Kind of a nasty trick for a “Good” god, if you ask me.

In any case, we came running back to the “excavation” when we heard what sounded like a cave-in, followed by a string of dwarven curses. It seems that Ghelt found a way past the tunnel blockage — breaking through the floor into the passage beneath it! We all followed after her.

Again following Jacob, we proceeded into another chamber which was filled with webs and cocoons. We weren’t there long before some very large spiders attacked us. No sooner had we dispatched them, than we noticed a strange humanoid creature with long white arms standing on the other side of the room. As soon as our light hit the creature, it let out a scream and ran down a corridor.

We were torn between chasing the creature (which was obviously the one who had been plagueing the town) and trying to free Aramil, who was certainly in one of the cocoons in this chamber. Pockets took the Sword of Pelor and began to hack at one of the cocoons. He told the rest of us to chase after the beast while he freed Aramil. The rest of us immediately began to chase after it.

We had just rounded a bend in the passageway, when we heard Pockets yell for help! Running back to see what was happening, I saw pockets being attacked by a creature that appeared to be half-spider and half dark-elf! (Which I later learned was a drider.) At that point I yelled for the rest of the party to return as well.... this creature was obviously a more immediate threat than the pathetic white-armed thing.

As Ghelt and I began to move into the room, the drider cast Web on us, trapping us in the hall. He then redirected his attention on Pockets. Luckily, Pockets had a potion of Gaseous Form, which he drank just then, and began to float away, toward the edge of the room.

Not being able to attack Pockets, and seeing that his web had not prevented me from casting spells, the drider then filled the room with a globe of Darkness. Unfortunately for us, Drusilia was stuck further back in the web, which blocked her Daylight from counteracting it!

Not seeing any other option, I let loose with a lightning bolt directly through the room in front of us.... knowing that Pockets was out of the way, I figured that the only target was the evil creature we were facing. I followed this up with another, more powerful, lightning bolt. After firing the second bolt, I heard a loud “thud!,” which I hoped was the creature. Figuring our work was done, I began hacking through the web to get into the room. Ghelt had been doing this already, and was slightly ahead of me entering the darkness.

I hadn’t been in the darkness more than a few seconds when I heard the sounds of combat behind me! Were there more creatures facing us?! Unfortunately, I could do nothing to help, surrounded in darkness as I was. I urged Drusilia to hurry as she was struggling through the webs.

Once Drusilia made it close enough to dispel the Darkness, I was dismayed to see that the drider was still alive! Apparently the loud “thud!” had been Pockets hitting the floor! Oops. I guess he didn’t have the sense to stay away from the creature once he was in gaseous form. I will have to explain to him a little bit about tactics. Particularly that when there is a large creature facing the party, and you aren’t actively fighting it, you should stay as far away as possible.... even more so when you know “THE MAGE CAN’T SEE WHERE YOU ARE!!.” Thankfully, he appeared to be doing OK, even though he was unconscious, so I turned my attention back to the drider... only to find that he had disappeared. Damn.

Well, this continued for a while... the drider would appear, attack, and disappear before we could hurt him. Eventually though, Drusilia was able to break through the web, and was lucky enought to finally hit him with a flame strike. That finished him off, and we were able to free Aramil and heal Pockets.

In searching the drider’s corpse, we found a note that he was carrying. It contained instructions telling him to retrieve the Heart of Nerull, and to deliver it to our old nemesis Durll. It would appear that we are not yet done dealing with him.

In any case, we still had to hunt down the white-armed creature, so we quickly headed off after it...

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave on August 10, 2003, 11:59

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 32 - Tunnels, Deafness, and Wasted Time

Well, we have spent the last day crawling through a bunch of tunnels, looking for the creature that was terrorizing Smallville. After we dispatched the drider, we took off after the white-armed creature.

As Pockets’ dog was pretty useless, Fingers had to lead the way, sniffing out the creature’s scent. He soon led us to the entrance of a small tunnel that branched off from the passageway. Much to my dismay, the entire party decided that the best thing to do would be to crawl into the tunnels after the creature.

Not long after we began to crawl, Fingers came to a halt. He had lost the scent of the creature. As we wondered what to do next, Pockets saved the day by getting snatched by the very creature we were chasing. How resourceful!

Following the creatures trail for what seemed like days, but was probably only several hours, we finally came to a chamber. Pockets was “stacked” up against a wall, and the floor of the chamber was covered in bones. Drusilia immediately went to help Pockets (who had been paralyzed by the creature’s touch). No sooner had she done that, than the creature began to attack us! It would pop out of a wall, attack one of us, then run away.

Pockets, in a moment of intense stupidity (and perhaps wanting to make up for his earlier usefulness), decided that now would be the time to deafen the party. He whipped out a couple thunderstones and slammed them together! This didn’t affect the creature at all, but it did a great job of deafening me!

At this point we all just sat and waited for the creature to attack again. From what I could tell, there was a lot of bickering amongst the rest of the party, but I couldn’t tell for sure, as I was DEAF! Drusilia did manage to tell me (through Fingers) that she could remove the deafness tomorrow, so I just sat there trying to rest and study spells while everyone else bickered.

After a period of time, Aramil came and tapped me on the shoulder. Apparently the rest of the party had decided to head out into the tunnels again, and he was the only one who thought to tell me. What great friends!

In any case, we followed the tunnels to the outskirts of town, where it was apparent (to me) that the creature had escaped. I say apparent to me, because not everyone shared this view. The rest of the group found ANOTHER tunnel to follow, and immediately dove in. Having had enough of crawling around, but not wanting to leave them to be killed by their stupidity, I polymorphed myself into a giant weasel, and followed after them. (Luckily the spell worked... since i became deafened, the ratio of successful spells had only been about 50%!).

We followed this tunnel for about 4 miles before it finally came to a dead end. Not wanting to crawl all the way back, I began to tunnel to the surface. Apparently Aramil had the same idea. Unfortunately, he was not a dire weasel.... he only had a shovel! Instead of making actual progress, he only succeeded in burying the party alive.

Luckily I noticed this and was able to rescue them in short order. Once we made it to the surface, I convince Drusilia to pray for more spells, and she cured my deafness. I then immediately headed back to town, and the rest of the group followed.

I hope we have scared the creature off for good. We will need to leave soon on our quest to destroy the Heart of Nerull, and while helping the town is a noble goal, if we fail to destroy the Heart, all of Oerth could be be destroyed! (I also suspect that it may be our very presence that is causing the town so much trouble - the sooner we go, the better!)

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave on August 17, 2003, 12:46

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 33 - I think somebody’s been hittin’ the bottle

After returning to town, everyone seemed to want to go their separate ways. I spent a few hours patching the floor of my house, but after that I thought we should get moving to the south. After all, while we knew that the portal we were seeking would not appear for another 10 or 12 days, all we really knew about it’s location was that it was “to the south of the highest peak in the Hellfurnaces.” That covers a whole lot of ground, and 10 days isn’t a whole lot of time to search half of a continent!

While I was pondering how to teleport our entire party such a long distance, Valon came to the rescue. He had purchased a silver egg that contained a powerful teleport spell... Powerful enough to transport us all to the Hellfurnaces instantly. As soon as we all gathered around him, he activated the single-use egg, and we were there! (For some reason Drusilia and Ghelt were confused by this... I thought the whole party knew where we were going!? But, as I would notice later, this was only the beginning of their strange behavior.)

No sooner had we arrived near the top of a volcano in the Hellfurnaces, than we noticed that a huge red dragon was coming right for us! This didn’t seem like the time to engage in a hopeless fight, so we ran! Luckily we had noticed a small cave inside the crater of the volcano. With a little ingenuity involving a rope, a piton, and Feather Fall, we were soon safe inside the cave... and not a moment too soon. As we were running down the passage way, a burst of flame followed us. Only Drusilia was hurt, as she was more concerned with casting protective spells on the rest of us than saving her own skin. I guess that is typical behavior for a cleric though.

Rather than going back to get killed by the dragon, we decided to explore the natural passageways we now found ourselves in. We soon found ourselves in a large cavern with several pools of lava. There were two passages leaving the cavern in opposite directions. While Ghelt and Drusilia were trying to determine which way was south, Pockets and I decided to just pick a passageway, and check it out. Aramil decided to come along. Just as we were preparing to go, Ghelt decided that the other way was south, and that is the way we should be going. Pockets and I explained that we wanted to check out the other passageway to be sure there were no nasty surprises that would follow behind us as we proceeded to the south. This is where the problem came in.

Ghelt, Drusilia, and Valon decided that the were under no circumstances going to help us in checking out the northern passageway... they would just wait in the main chamber and “maybe” would come help us if they heard our screams... IF they thought we were dying horribly. Hmmph! (That really didn’t seem like “normal” behavior for them, but as I mentioned earlier... they were acting strange.)

In any case, Pockets, Aramil, and I scouted to the north. A short way down the passage we came upon a strange creature... It was a living puddle of magma! (Actually, I guess it was probably an Ooze of some sort but “Magma Puddle” just seems like a better name.) While Pockets tried several different techniques of fighting it (water, arrows, and whatever else came to mind.), I let loose with a few Magic Missiles which seemed to be slowing it down. Aramil had a different plan.

Just after Pockets had dumped some water on the thing, and it was making a retreat, Aramil sprang into action! Grabbing one of his magical arrows that we had found in our travels, he proceeded to cast Magic Missile(!!) into the arrow, and fired at the fleeing creature! Now this has several problems. For one thing, why would you take the chance of missing with an arrow, when Magic Missile would have automatically hit?! Secondly, as the creature was on the retreat, it didn’t seem to make sense to waste a limited resource (the magic arrow), when the spell alone would have sufficed! Oh well, I guess it’s just “his way,” and it did finish off the creature.

After our little adventure, we continued on for about another quarter mile, where we found a split in the passageway. The left-hand tunnel traveled down into the depths of the earth, while the right-hand passage traveled upward. We followed the right-hand tunnel out into a valley.

As we were enjoying the fresh air, Pockets pointed out a cave opening on the other side of the valley. There was steam coming from the opening, and it looked suspiciously like it might be the dragon’s lair! Deciding that we weren’t quite ready to fight the dragon yet, and since there didn’t seem to be any lurking dangers that would be following us to the south, we decided to head back to the rest of the party. I did notice that Aramil had a strange glint in his eye every time we mentioned the dragon, though. I hope he isn’t planning anything foolish.

When we returned to the chamber where we had left the rest of the party, they were gone! I guess it’s a good thing we weren’t screaming for their assistance! After a little while they returned from the southern passage, where they apparently decided to go scouting as well. We excitedly told them of our finds: the magma puddle and the dragon’s lair, and they told us what they had “found”.

“Oh, we ran into Arkon the lich,” Drusilia said, “and then we found a city of Salamanders.”

OK, What kind of a rube do they take me for? While I have no doubt about the “city of salamanders,” I can’t believe they would try to tell us they ran into the lich! Why on Oerth would Arkon be wandering around in the depths of Hellfurnaces? And furthermore, they expected us to believe that after a “friendly chat,” he just walked off and let them go!

I am starting to suspect I understand what is going on now... Why Ghelt and Drusilia were so confused when we left town, why they were being argumentative about scouting north, and now this strange story... I think they must of spent the few hours in town this morning boozing it up! I am not sure how they convinced Valon to go along with their story, but I think he might just being doing it for a joke. That’s OK, I’ve played a few jokes myself... I’ll have to think up a good one to play on them when the time is right. Hehehe. :) A lich. Who would believe that?

So, once we wait for Ghelt and Drusilia to ‘sober up,’ we will have to decide what to do next. I am not sure going through a city of Salamanders is a good idea, but our other options don’t feel right either... A passage to the north, or a dragon’s lair. Maybe once we can all talk about it further, we will come up with a solution.

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

Posted by Dave on August 24, 2003, 11:40

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 34 - Evil, or Just Plain Stupid?

Well, maybe we went the wrong way. Since Ghelt, Valon, and Drusilia failed to mention that there was a nice comfortable stairway leading down into the city of the salamanders, we decided to head off to the north, in the hopes that the passageway would wrap around and lead us to the city.

Well, it led us to A city... just not the one we had hoped for. After much trouble, we found ourselves overlooking a city of Mind Flayers! At this point Pockets decided to reveal his true colors. He is obviously trying to get us all killed!

We were preparing to head back the way we came before the mind flayers saw us, when Watch ran down into the city! We all thought she was a goner, but having no choice, we made a run for it. All of us except for Pockets and Ghelt, that is.

From Ghelt’s description of events, Pockets pulled out his crossbow and began shooting at Watch! Of course the mind flayers noticed this and began to give chase! Ghelt was about to knock some sense into him, when he took off as well.

I think we managed to escape, and we are now heading back the way we came (or at least we are heading away from the mind flayers!). An encounter with some duergar has left Pockets unconscious, which may be better for him... After his latest behaviour, he may have more than just Ghelt demanding an explanation.

Strangely, Aramil doesn’t seem that upset. It seems he also wants to kill the puppy. What is wrong with these people, are they evil, or just plain STUPID?!?!?

~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

P.S. I wonder why Pockets and Aramil aren’t afraid of the mind flayers?

Posted by Dave on August 30, 2003, 14:43

Fafnir’s Journal Entry 35 - Splat! Cinder! Ouch!

When running through the underdark, it’s best to use a light. I think that is a lesson we will remember. As we were fleeing from the mind flayers, Aramil (carrying Pockets) ran straight into a gelatinous cube! Splat!

We were surprised to find it there, since we had seen no sign of it on our previous trip through these tunnels... I guess that is why all the floors were so smooth. Despite its attempt to eat our two troublesome party members, we were soon able to slay the cube. A few minutes later, they both were able to move again, and we continued back toward the city of the Salamanders.

After discussing what the best course of action for entering the city would be (Pockets calls this “arguing”), I decided to let Valon lead the way into the city. After all, he is a bard, and is usually quite good at diplomacy. One thing we definitely decided was that we didn’t want to appear as a threat — All weapons should be kept sheathed. Aramil disagreed with this, insisting on carrying his bow out and ready to fire. No amount of reasoning would get him to carry it on his back or in his bag of holding, so we continued on, hoping for the best. (He insisted that a ready bow was NOT a threat, and while the rest of the party realizes that a bow in Aramil’s hand isn’t all that dangerous, we can’t expect this city of Salamanders to know that!!!)

As we followed the path into the city, two large fire elementals appeared in front of us. Valon, Ghelt, Pockets, and Drusilia walked past them without incident. As Aramil approached, the two elementals blocked his path. It wasn’t clear to me at first what was going on, but as Aramil said “What!?”, one of the elementals reached out and touched his bow. The bow immediately burst into flame, leaving just a pile of cinders. I guess it was threatening to them after all. Once the weapon was gone, they allowed us to pass.

We weren’t there long before we were escorted to the king. Luckily the king spoke common, or Drusilia would have had to translate for all of us. As it was, Valon, Drusilia, and I spoke to the king, with Ghelt joining the conversation when she had useful information to add. We gave him some brief details of what we were doing (searching for the temple of the void to destroy an evil artifact), and asked for safe passage through his city. (Aramil chimed in several times as well, but we tried to ignore his comments about taking over the forges and making him a new bow.)

The king thought about our story for a short while, and agreed to give us safe passage only if we would help him with a problem that was plaguing his city. It seems that the neighboring duergar have allied themselves with a clan of beholders led by a large beholder named ‘Xarn’. With the beholders help, the duergar have been raiding the salamander city with impunity. The king believes that if we can kill Xarn, the rest of the beholders will break their alliance with the duergar, and his city will be safe once more. As we need passage through this city, we agreed to the king’s offer. This will also provide the benefit of weakening the duergar, who have been causing us trouble since we began our quest.

Bidding the king farewell, I followed the party back in the direction we had just come from. (It turns out that the beholders live in a tunnel that branches off from the cavern where we fought the roper.)

Not long after we entered the tunnel which the salamanders had described to us, we found a vertical eight foot wide shaft that intersected the passageway. After Pockets and I had jumped across, we pondered the best way to get everyone else across safely. I jokingly mentioned that I should have brought a ten-foot ladder with me. Imagine my surprise when Pockets replied “hold on a sec,” and pulled a 10-foot ladder out of his bag of holding! Sometimes he amazes me. With the help of the ladder, we were able to cross without much incident. I say “without ‘much’ incident” because poor Aramil did have a rather painful experience. Deciding to walk across the ladder instead of crawling, he lost his balance halfway across. Luckily, he caught himself before falling into the hole. Unfortunately for him, the method he used to “catch” himself was to have one leg straddling either side of one of the ladders’ rungs. Ouch!! - It brought tears to my eyes just seeing the pain on his face... or maybe it was from laughing so hard.

In any case, we had just finished getting everyone across safely when we were able to confirm that we were in the correct tunnel — we were attacked by a beholder! (I guess we had forgotten that we were supposed to be sneaking into their lair, and had gotten quite loud. Oops.)

The beholder was using the tactic of flying up and down the vertical shaft, hardly staying long enough for us to even attack it. After the first couple passes we were able to get our tactics in order. Our strategy was thus:

  • Ghelt stood by the shaft, cutting into the creature each time it passed. This put her at greatest risk, but allowed her to deal large amounts of damage to the creature.

  • Drusilia and I hit the beholder with whatever spells we could manage, when it would close its large anti-magic eye.

  • Aramil stabbed at it with his sword, while drawing some of the attacks from the rest of us.

  • Valon sang.

  • Pockets continued to us his own brand of unusual tactics... this didn’t help much in this battle, but it is certainly entertaining to watch!)

  • Speaking of Watch, she hid in the back.
  • Now, having defeated our first beholder, we continue onward in search of Xarn.

    As we travel down these passages, I have this strange feeling that we are being watched. It is a feeling I have had before... in the city of the dead. Maybe those guys really did run into Arkon in these tunnels yesterday?!? I hope not.

    ~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

    Posted by Dave on September 6, 2003, 10:01

    Fafnir’s Journal Entry 36 - Danger Ahead

    As we moved on after fighting the beholder, we soon came to a dead end, with only a vertical shaft leading upward. Using his climbing skills, Pockets carried a rope to up the shaft and fastened it at the top. We all followed him up the rope to find another passage. Pockets was nowhere to be seen.

    Assuming he had scouted ahead, we followed the passageway... but not for long. As we rounded the first bend, we came to a cavern. In the cavern floated a large black beholder that could only be Xarn! He was flanked by two Mind Flayers, and was also guarded by an Umber Hulk. Lying on the floor in front of the behoder was the unconscious form of Pockets.

    No sooner had we appeared than the Umber Hulk attacked. Because of our travelling order, this left Drusilia alone in the room with the beholder, while the rest of us were stuck in the corridor, which was blocked by the fighting of Ghelt and the Umber Hulk. Also, the beholder’s anti-magic eye prevented me from casting spells!

    Drusilia was able to get a few spells off that severely weakened the beholder, but things were still looking really bad... we just couldn’t get enough of our party into the room! Deciding that I had to do something, I used the tumbling skills that I have been practicing to tumble past Ghelt and the Umber Hulk. I guess my tumbling needs a little more practice, as the Umber Hulk managed to land a powerful hit on me as I passed. Painful as it was, I didn’t let it stop me from letting loose with a lightning bolt that finished off Xarn.

    After Xarn was defeated, it didn’t take Ghelt long to take care of the Umber Hulk. As for the mind flayers, we managed to kill one of them, but the other escaped by teleporting away.

    After making sure that Pockets was OK, I noticed that there was a passageway leading down from the current chamber. Thinking it might be a treasure chamber, I used spider climb to follow the passage downward. I was right! We found a good amount of treasure, which we gathered up before heading back to the city of the Salamanders.

    The next ten days were rather uneventful. When we returned to the salamander city, we were hailed as heroes. When we asked the King where we would need to go to find the portal to the temple of the Void, he explained that it would appear in the temple at the center of the city.. just as I had originally suspected! Since we did not have to travel further to find it, we were able to use the next ten days for some much needed rest and recovery.

    On the day the gate was to appear, things got bad. We were waiting at the temple, when the city was attacked by a force of duergar and mind flayers! Just as we were debating as to whether we should help defend the city, the gate started to materialize, leaving us no choice but to wait in the temple as the salamanders fought the invaders. Just as the portal finished materializing, it looked like we might be in trouble - a group of duergar had managed to break through and were approaching the temple! I nearly feinted with shock when the form of Arkon materialized on the steps of the temple and began defending it!!! I guess this means that he really has been following us, and it concerns me. After all, why does he now appear to be helping us?!?

    In any case, we did not have time to figure it out just then, as we needed to pass through the portal to the temple of the void. Passing through, I was envoloped in darkness.

    When I awoke, I found myself (and the rest of the party) in a entry chamber. Looking out of the windows, I saw nothing but endless sand dunes. This strange place must be the temple of the void. The only exit from the room was a pair of large double doors. Once the party was awake, Aramil proceeded to open them.

    As we entered the next room, we saw that it was a cirular chamber with four sets of doors. between each set of doors was a large stone statue of a warrior. No sooner had we entered than the warrior statues attacked us! We were able to defeat them without too much trouble, and once they had been crumbled, we examined the room further. In each of the alcoves where the statues had been, we found a keyhole. I wonder what the locks are protecting? I think we will need to find out.

    So here we are. On a strange plane, with no real idea of what we need to be doing. One thing is certain - we need to tread carefully. If Arkon is helping us, it is to his own benefit, and we will need to be careful not to play into his plans... particularly with the impulsiveness that some members of our party have shown in the past. I am not looking forward to this next part of our quest.

    ~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

    Posted by Dave on September 20, 2003, 11:29

    Fafnir’s Journal Entry 37 - The Heart is Destroyed, Time To Do Some Research

    We have completed our mission to destroy the Heart of Nerull! A great weight has been lifted off of our shoulders.

    After arriving in the Temple of the Void, we found three guardians blocking our path. The guardians of “what was,” “what is,” and “what will be.” We had to face each of them in ‘single’ combat.... Well, not really single combat, just that only one of us could fight them at a time.... If it had truly been single combat, the guardians would have been healed after each one of us had made our attempt. Luckily for us, that was not the case, and we were able to defeat all three of them, and release “The Void.”

    “The Void” as it turned out, was not a place, so much as a thing. In fact, it seems to be some kind of creature! No sooner had we released it, than it began to absorb everything it contacted. Thinking we would need to fight it, I braced myself and waited for the rest of the party to get in position. I yelled to Valon, “Throw the Heart in!”

    Instead of throwing the Heart in, he cackled something along the lines of “No! It’s Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!” and ran off into one of the rooms! The rest of the party chased after him, leaving only me and Watch to face the Void!

    After surviving an attack by the void, Watch and I decided to take cover for a moment, and the Void moved into the room with the rest of the party. Luckily, one of them managed to get the Heart of Nerull from Valon, and tossed it into the Void. The Heart was finally destroyed!

    We continued to battle the Void for a few moments longer, but it then retreated through a wall, and out into the barren snowy wasteland that surrounded the room of “What is.”

    So, as we sit here, with our mission accomplished, I am taking a few moment to relax, and was thinking of heading for home. Drusilia is moaning something about “Darkness in my wake” and “destruction of the world,” and the rest of the party seems to be in the same sort of mind-set.

    Personally, I think they are all acting a bit prematurely. Questing to destroy an evil artifact, such as the “Heart of Nerull” is one thing, but going on a quest to recapture or destroy something that we know next to nothing about is a different matter entirely. Maybe the Void was meant to roam free. Maybe the evil act was holding it in captivity. Or maybe it should be destroyed. Maybe destroying it will destroy the world. The fact of the matter is, we just don’t have enough solid, trustworthy information, and until we get some, I am not going to go on a quest to destroy the thing. Basing our actions on information we got from people we don’t know or have any reason to trust is what got us in this position in the first place.

    The rest of the party can do what they want, but my next action is going to be to do some research on what “The Void” really is, and what the appropriate thing to do about would be. This is one of those few times where I would say that a good structured plan is in order. (As much as it pains me to write those words!)

    ~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

    Posted by Dave on October 5, 2003, 12:18

    Fafnir’s Journal Entry 38 - Greyhawk at last

    After a bit of arguing over who would be in the bag, we all teleported off to merry old Greyhawk. Ghelt, Pockets, and Aramil headed off for a night of drinking and debauchery. Drusilia went to meet her maker, and I headed to the library.

    Once we released Valon from the bag of holding, he buggered off, and has not been seen since.

    I plan on spending some time here working on a new spell which I have been thinking about. Having created a unique spell will allow me to join Greyhawk’s wizards’ guild, so that I will have access to all of their learning.

    ~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

    P.S. As I was settling down in the Great Library of Greyhawk (writing this entry), Ghelt, Aramil, and Pockets reappeared. Ghelt was the only one left standing, I guess she was too much for them.

    Posted by Dave on October 25, 2003, 21:01

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

    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 on November 2, 2003, 14:26

    Fafnir’s Journal Entry 40 - Wasting Time

    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 on November 9, 2003, 14:36

    Fafnir’s Journal Entry 41 - RedCastle

    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 on November 14, 2003, 08:43

    Fafnir’s Journal Entry 42 - Stoned

    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 on November 30, 2003, 15:48

    Fafnir’s Journal Entry 43 - Traps and Troubles

    Well, we have continued on into the dungeon. It seems that the stone golem was on it last legs, as a couple swings from Ghelt put an end to it. We then proceeded to explore further.

    Pockets seems to be having a lot of trouble since being returned to the flesh... for one thing, he has been finding traps by the “whoops, I set it off” method. This just isn’t a method that lends itself to longevity. For another, he seems to have lost any willpower he once had. I came to this realization as I was removing the arrow that he had shot into my shoulder! It seems that he had been affected by the “mind control” powers of one of the creatures we were fighting! I can only hope his bad luck streak ends soon. If not, he may run out of luck altogether.

    As the party entered one trap filled room, it filled with water and we were suddenly being attacked by a water elemental. Drusilia, fearing the worst, decided to teleport us all back to Greyhawk!! This didn’t seem to me to be the best choice... after all we have a timeline to follow here... it’s not like the void is going to just stop eating the world while we hang around in Greyhawk. Luckily, I still had a teleport spell memorized, so I was able to send us back to Redcastle after some healing. This time, Drusilia banished the water elemental, which worked out much better. Of course, Pockets then immediately fell into a pit trap, but this is becoming a normal occurence.

    One other thing to note... We were unable to teleport directly back into the dungeon. Apparently there is some kind of anti-magic field preventing that. This meant that after teleporting back, we had to repeat our steps through the entire dungeon. Hopefully this time we will make it to our goal without having to leave again... If not, we will be wasting even more time.

    ~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

    Posted by Dave on December 7, 2003, 13:52

    Fafnir’s Journal Entry 44 - Where did everybody go?

    Well, we found Pockets. He had fallen down a big chute. Naturally, rather than trying to pull him back up, we all chose to follow him down.

    Luckily, there was an exit from the underground cistern. When we followed it, we ended up in a room with a not so friendly creature - a basilisk! I summoned some dire bears to fight the thing, so I wouldn’t have to. That seemed to do the job, and soon everyone was able to come out from hiding.

    We then began to open more doors. Earth, Wind, Fire, Water — these are the elementals we fought. No treasure though, just a bunch of mirrors. Everyone was at a loss. The mirrors detected magic, so I went ahead and stuck my head through one of them... they lead to some sort of “hall of mirrors”. This didn’t look like a fun place to me or Ghelt, but the rest of the party buggered off into one of the mirrors.

    I am not sure where they went, but it has been a little while.

    Oh, wait, it looks like Ghelt is getting ready to look for someone to rescue. Here we go again.

    ~=Fafnir Flamebrewer=~

    Posted by Dave on December 21, 2003, 12:10