Pockets' Journal
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Pockets’ Bio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cause of death: sneaking in a bad area.

Posted by Jim on May 22, 2003, 19:17

Tangled Webs

Dear Journal,

What the %*#&@ is wrong with me? How do I get myself into these situations time and time again? First of all, I finally found a companion to travel and adventure with (that isn’t out to kill or rob me) and set out on an honest quest to find a lost object that belonged to a family. Now that would be great in normally, but I am not sure that Aramil and I belong in this pack of cut-throats. And I have heard bad stories about this Spine Castle area. Although Lord Voldimort seemed very sincere, and is paying us quite well.

Lord Voldimort has provided us with a portal to about 2 miles from the city. His directions have been above par, and his descriptions, it is almost as if he has been here before.


It seems that some of our companions are arguing over who is in command. The situation calms, but this is a bad sign. Just outside the city, Dorvan (the leader for now) tells us to camp for the night. I feel like there is a thousand eyes on me. Argus, (one of the would-be leaders) gets permission from Dorvan to lead a patrol to the city’s edge. This seemed wise to me. Within minutes of them being out of sight, we heard the first screams. We all got to the patrol just in time to save them from some creatures. Argus was in the hands of some dark form, yet not seeming to be harmed. Dorvan claimed a sword that was taken from the creatures, and he seems different now.

I try to talk to the others about my fears, and get smacked in the head for my efforts. Seems that stupid fighters never see things, and if they don’t see it, they don’t believe it.

The next morning we headed into the town. And I thought things were bad before. First we went to an old chapel of some type. In the basement we found a door that seemed protected by some magic. I noticed that the door requires some kind of key, Argus disagrees.

Dorvan said we should go to the next building, a tall tower in the other corner of town. And that’s when bad left town and real bad came in. Argus stood up to Dorvan and said we should go another direction. Before I knew it, the entire party was arguing over a hundred subjects. I tried to tell them that something was wrong, as if a spell was on us, that’s when they turned on me. All except Aramil, my friend stood in front of me and tried to protect me. Two seconds later he was laying on the ground unconscious. Not an unfamiliar position for him, but he is my friend and tried to protect me.

At this point there was only one thing to do, I started arguing that Argus was trying to take over Dorvan’s party. It worked, the group split up to two sides and began fighting while I dragged Aramil off. Argus and his four quickly cut down the odds, it was just Dorvan left. But something about his sword must have helped him, he fought like a madman, yet all his blows struck their mark. Next thing I knew, Dorvan was standing over Argus about to put the final thrust into him when they came. I will not pretend to know what they are, but they scared the hell out of me.

In a matter of seconds, Dorvan was split into twenty pieces and Argus was being helped up by these creatures. Argus smiled at me and pointed. Some time later I awoke tied to a wall next to Aramil. Our belongings were gone and there was no sign of anyone. There is no telling how long we were there, I began wondering if we were being saved for something’s snack. I believe it was at least three days later when we finally heard some sounds below us. We talked it over and decided it was worth the risk of bringing the creatures upon us to try to signal for help. If not we would most likely be dead in another day or two anyway.

Olidammara must be shining his smile upon me, it is another group of explorers. I am glad to see them, but not ready to trust them completely. As the group searches the tower we are in, they seem to more concerned in questioning us than searching the tower. Yet they seem to lie to me at my questions. Me and Aramil talk about this and decide to be as honest as they are. Then they came, the creatures from before came into the room. The new party seems to be able to hold their own versus these things. Aramil and one of the others seem to be harmed. I can’t explain what happened to them, just that Aramil seems weaker.

I ask our new friends if we can travel with them for a bit and they agreed. Funny this group seems to have no leader, and be happy about it. Then the old fire bug up Aramil’s ass starts buggin’ him again. I tried to talk him out of it, but he has to torch the tower. If I had a copper for every time he burned something down I would be rich.

Our group heads to some caves for protection, there is another skirmish with the things. This is just not my best day. After resting for a bit the party is going to try the large tower in the center of town. I think they are mad, but hey I think that about most people. We get to the tower, the door is neither locked or trapped. Now to my experience, that means there is nothing good inside.

In we go, there is some sort of bone creature. We go in as a party, sort of. Well true to Aramil’s form, he runs into combat. I guess it is time to talk to him about the magic versus fighting thing again. Don’t get me wrong, when damage is coming I want him in front of me, but I don’t want him dead. We clear out the floor of these creatures and begin up the steps.

Posted by Jim on June 7, 2003, 14:02

Easy Money...

As I think back to the beginning of this adventure, “easy money” was what I was thinking. But of course I didn’t have all the information. As is becoming the story of the day. Maybe, and I say maybe, if the story included undead I would have been better prepared. But then of course I had all those brave fighters between us and the undead.

Back to reality. We entered the second floor and found two larger things and had to kill them. I think I will need to pay more attention to what they are calling these things. Anyway, this was an unorganized battle if I ever saw one. Mind you I am not a warrior, but shouldn’t the party fight together with some plan instead of rushing in. Me and Aramil tried working with some barbarians once, I feel that is happening again.

As we proceed up the tower the group decides I should check doors for traps, like some sacrificial lamb. Well for the good of the group I play along. We get to another level which is empty. Kinda like the feeling in some of my pockets. So I take the hinges apart to fill a pocket.

Up we go to the next level, I have found a nice place to travel behind two others, yet near enough to Aramil to watch his back. At this door, which I opened with cunning skill. Hmm... Ahh, why lie to myself, it wasn’t too hard. The dwarf goes first, as the pattern returns. They all run in to get shot at and have things thrown at them. At least the mage has some common sense.

Again I have to ask Aramil to use spells, as if he forgets on a regular basis anymore. Fafnir makes duplicates of himself, this is a cool trick. And to my convenience, I hide behind the pack of mages. What sane person would attack a thief when there is so many mages to kill.

We get to the top of a walkway and are faced with a trap door. Again, they stop and argue. I try to add my info, but they don’t want it. Well, let’s say they just want to keep arguing. Then to my amazement, Fafnir sends his familiar (which looks like a tasty treat by the way) up the ladder to the trap door. And the door becomes invisible. I complement Fafnir, and lock that idea away. If I could get a wand that does that,... pardon the drool on the parchment.

So I go up to check out the trap door and to my surprise it is a trap ladder. Olidammara is having fun again, as I and the ladder tip over the edge of the 80 ft drop. But as to his grace the ladder was grabbed by the party. Now as I dangle off the ladder, holding on with all I have, I can’t help but be amused by the trick. I do well to control my smile, can’t let them think me mad, but they don’t understand the technicality of that trap. It was obviously set to some weight so as to get a person, not a small animal. That gave me a false sense of security.

Well after climbing back up the ladder to safety, I put the ladder back up and secure it with the hinge pieces that I had just procured. Now the trap door is still invisible giving me a good look at the lock. A bar, this shouldn’t be to hard. First I test the hinges, I even get Ghelt to help. They are too strong. As my ears get filled with the party conversation, a total lack of plan is a better way to put it, I use one of my trade secrets to move the bar out of the way.

What happened next can only be described as a cluster-f*ck. Two creatures come down and are easily destroyed by the clerics. Then Ghelt goes up first, pattern reappearing. As Drusilia attempts to follow she is smacked hard by Ghelt who is now under the influence of something up there. Then I am a little confused, lets see... there was arguing, bad plans, my unsuccessful help, Aramil losing his mind, and more arguing, some swords swinging and then they said it was ok to go up.

There is some large creature chained up by some magnificent metal. I was not convinced right away that the creature was ok, but eventually they won me over. Ghelt, now back on our side, gave the creature the big silver sword she was carrying. Obviously she has no idea how much that thing would be worth.

The creature cut through his chains and freed himself. He then said he could help us. I asked for some of the chain, again controlling the drool. He agrees to raise Aramil from the dead. This is indeed a wonderful creature. But back to the chain. This big creature must be hard of hearing, I politely asked for some of the chain several times before he cut some for me. Aramil is laughing at me. I guess I didn’t control the drool as good as I thought.

Now the creature tells us we have to go into the underground and fight to get the key. He acts like it is just business as usual. Maybe he thinks there is a large trading post on the way where we can get supplied.

At least Aramil is ok, and the frog too. Not that I actually like the frog, but I ain’t telling him that.

Posted by Jim on June 15, 2003, 12:31

Follow the Leader???

Following the (of the now called “Angel”) advice to seek one called Urkel, we went to the bottom of the tower. And began looking through the bones, for bits and pieces before we traveled to the Urkel. To our surprise we found a trap door to the catacombs. We are lead by our newly chosen leader Valon. I voted for Aramil first, then when they didn’t like that idea, I voted for the elf.

Anyway back to the disaster, we are looking at the trap door and again it’s “Pockets can you check it out.” Maybe I should charge them 5 gold for every time I hear that. Well, playing along with this “let Pockets look for the trap” thing, I check the door and find it is trapped. Of course almost any fool could have done that. But I then disarm the trap, that is where the skill is. I then pull the pins from the hinges and move the trap door off to the side.

It is then that I take my proper place behind a couple of fighters. As the party then stood around arguing over what to do, the Gnome stomped ahead of us and went down first. I think he is either losing his mind or Aramil is rubbing off on him. I take this point to remind Aramil that the mage/fighter is mage first, fighter when all else fails. And as usual, he pretends to listen, pats me on the shoulder and says it will work.

Well off to our deaths we go, as we now walk through the catacombs looking for an Urkel, I can’t help but remember that the “Angel” said in the catacombs north of town, not go into the catacombs and work your way north. As this thought runs through my head the party is attacked. Although we get away the party decides to run and get attacked again. It is as we finally get back to the surface in the tower, that I realize that I feel different. Not weaker, but something has happened and I don’t like it.

So we travel back up to the “Angel” and get told tuff luck, go find the Urkel. It is at this point that I realized I haven’t seen our new leader make any decision or even get an ounce of respect by the rest of the party. And further more, the bard that he is, hasn’t chirped a single word of encouragement while we were in battle. I think the bard is scared of the new position. Maybe he will grow into it. If not, I think the gnome will claim it. And when he does, that may be the end of the bard.

As I am amused by the “Leadership,” Ghelt and Aramil said let’s go find the Urkel before it gets dark and head out. I join them, as we three head out bravely to fight the evil. Then we have to wait at the bottom for the “Leader” and the two who seem to pull his strings.

We begin traveling north. There is no creatures in sight. Aramil points out to me that he said we were being watched in the tower. I tell him he is just nervous and I will cover his back. So we travel with the emptiness of some of my pockets weighing me down. We find a few buildings of interest, and fight some big bat-like things, but what is really important is that Fafnir finds something in the remains of a magic shop. I then see our Leader make his first great decision. He asked to see the item and discovered (with my help) that it is an earring that turns into a very nice set of picks if you say the command word, and he gives it to me. I knew that Valon would make a good leader. Knew it from the start I did.

We eventually reach the end of town, having not found the Urkel. And the rain begins to come down. We travel a bit looking for some shelter when I spot a bar. Bringing the immortal words of Pokithes, “When all is lost, head to the closest bar and get drunk.” He was a fine man, I felt bad when the party had to kill him for stealing from our patron. I remember getting drunk that night and finding out that the patron had lied about Pokithes. I felt better when Aramil burnt Lord Kalen’s house down with him in it though. To this day Aramil says it was an accident.

Inside the bar we are accosted by three creatures singing a tune of evil. Drusilia and I were the only ones unaffected, before I could do much she raised her holy symbol and they ran. They wont be gone long I bet.

Posted by Jim on June 22, 2003, 13:13

Dead Paladins Aren’t Much Fun...

When I last wrote my notes we were in the bar, having just ran off some nasty creatures. So it is there that I will pick back up. And here the story starts with a very familiar sound, party arguing over what to do.

Alas, Valon stood strong and suggested we go back to the building with the sun symbol and look for Urkel. A born leader that one is, I am very proud. We head out through the rain and lightning back to the crumbled building we had seen earlier. When we got there, a feather-fall spell was used to get us down to the catacombs. There we found the remains of what used to be a set of stairs that would confirm what the “Angel” said.

The further we go the more problem I have with this “Angel” idea. If you ask me the party has taken everything it has said as if it was an undisputable truth. Me, I don’t put one hundred percent trust in anything but me. And sometimes, I don’t trust myself completely. Many a story has begun with truths, just to set up the sucker for the kill. I need not look too far back to see this in my own life. Yes, there is a particular mage who will regret sending me and my friend here.

Well, back to the catacombs. At the bottom, once the party decided that light would help our efforts, we discovered another crudely drawn sun symbol. This convinced Drusilia that we had to be on the correct path. (Like a fish to a worm these clerics and their gods.) Anyway, we followed the path to a room with a ghoul. As it turns out, it was good that the I wasn’t the first one there, for Urkel would have been shot right off the start.

Drusilia quickly entered a strange conversation with the Urkel and explained to the party that we would be better off resting here. Hmmm. With a ghoul that we can trust, she says. Just to be safe I let Aramil rest first while I kept my bow aimed at the Urkel’s head. I had heard him say to her that he just wanted a nibble, and pointed to her arm.

The next morning we were all their and the Urkel was talking to Drusilia again. He explained some history of the area and what needed to be done. The Urkel then went to a place in a wall that I had not noticed and pulled out some items. He gave them to Drusilia, they appeared to me to be worth a great deal, but I still don’t like this creature.

Drusilia tells us that the Urkel was once a paladin of Pelor. Not a very good one if you ask me, he has been a ghoul for a thousand years. I just don’t like those flesh eating freaks. I don’t care what they did before. The Urkle then said his job was done and he wanted to die. Waahhhoooo, sword is out and I am going at him. Then suddenly the Dwarf tackles me and says that it should be done by Drusilia. Despite my struggles, she holds me down until the task is finished by Drusilia.

I offer a bag to use as a means of carrying the remains, then they seem offended that I mention how much they might be worth. A strange group I have fallen into.

After a few minutes Drusilia ask me for the bag back that I had the remains in, she opened the bag to find it full of diamond dust. Then she wouldn’t give it back. At least she used some of the stuff to restore my weakness and some of the other party members also.

Among the items given to us by the flesh eating freak, was a map of the catacombs. So the party set out to kill the vampire thing that lives under the tower that Aramil burned. When we got their the party was looking for the way into the catacombs, I found a doorway and stood back for the party to learn a lesson. I wish it wasn’t such a dangerous one though in hind-sight. First Valon went over to open the door without a proper check for traps, instead of talking I ducked behind Aramil. (They have to learn to respect me and my skills.) A powder comes out of the door when Valon tried to open it, and it nearly killed him.

I handed Valon my everburning torch to look into the hole, and it couldn’t chase the darkness at all. (I should have stepped up after that and helped.) Luckily someone thought of casting a powerful light spell on the torch, which defeated the darkness spell and showed a ladder that only went a few feet, but the drop was a long one after that. So Valon started down the ladder, he was going to tie a rope at the bottom and climb down. But as he got onto the ladder, the pins released and Valon and the ladder fell. Lucky for us Valon can cast feather-fall, or we would be having the party leader argument again. This was a well thought out trap, this means we are close. Nobody puts an easy trap near their loot.

As the party figured out how to get down, Valon and Aramil (who used a spider climb) came under attack by vampire-like things. We did a group feather-fall and helped them in the battle. Although, I think that Aramil will have a different version since Drusilia fell on his head. Then as the party gathered itself we were attacked by a hoard of large rats. It was a short battle, but it served its purpose, we made plenty of noise killing the creatures off.

We are close now, I can feel the hair on the back of my neck standing up. Soon we will fight the big vampire, I would feel better if we had some sunlight on our side, or an army of Paladins, yes that is what I think we need.

Posted by Jim on June 26, 2003, 15:37

Four Armed Creatures and Naked Party Members

Let me see, I am still a little off kilter from the portal trip, but I shall try to remember as best I can. I remember rushing to the fallen temple with the key. I was going to offer to place the key, with mage hand, but Valon did it with a spell. Then there was some confusion about which way to go. Eventually, probably more from dumb luck, we notice that the seal on the floor had changed and become a portal. This was not the one to mangle my mind, but let me tell you, elvenkind was not meant to travel that way.

To the lich’s lair we went; there were a mummies. This locked most of the party in place, at least until Drusilia used her new holy symbol on them. Then seen it, the fear and confusion in the party’s eyes. I don’t know if the lich did it to them, or if it was the sight of the four armed, umm, well it kind of looked like a halfling. As soon as the little critter was there, he was attacked by some sort of ghost, that is when I knew we would win the day, the lich lost control of his own troops.

Me and Drusilia went for a pile of loot, searching for a weapon to help kill the lich. Didn’t find one. But, Valon figured out what to do, quickly running to the jewel and snatching it. It was then that “the Angel” came and fought the lich. It was good to see him, specially since it took most of my attention trying to save Drusilia from some slime she fell into. On the bright side, we all got to see her in a new way. All I got to say is I didn’t expect that tattoo.

Anyway, “the Angel” killed the lich and opened a portal for us to escape; yes this is the one that made me sick. Valon made me go through when there was clearly 20 to 30 seconds left to grab some more items. When my head stops spinning I will point that out again.

So here we are, in this little place they call a town. Smallville, never a more accurately named town. At least I see some trustworthy people, a carnival. I should be able to make a little money here. I hope my new friends don’t take exception to a man earning a little money on the side.

Posted by Jim on July 19, 2003, 13:44

The Old Hag Must Pay...

Well, there isn’t much to say about this town, Smallville, because there isn’t much to it. I think I will take this opportunity to relax a little and enjoy some carnival folk. But first I need to get Drusilia to make me an item before she forgets her promise. She leads me to the house of Ghelt’s family and the forge they run. Ghelt’s father is a nice man and helps smash the jewel for us. He then asked us to check on his daughter.

It was hard, but we got Ghelt out of bed. Let me tell you, she looked like she was rode hard and put away wet. I pointed this out to her, and she tried to hit me, at least that means she is at least a little ok. Drusilia cast a spell on her to make her look better.

Next we went to get some beer, I promised Ghelt a round. Man can that woman drink! As it was getting fun, a woman came in yelling about her son being missing. Drusilia wanted us to go help, Ghelt and I offered our drunken help.

Next thing I remember was going to the carnival to look for the boy, just wish I could remember his name. Well, I snuck around the back to look for the boy, and found some neat looking things. Just then a big black bird is staring at me, and a old hag comes out from behind a wagon and dares to say that I may be up to no good. Well, she pointed her finger at me, I pointed mine at her...
and I was suddenly a toad. I guess her finger was stronger that mine.

I spent most of the rest of the day getting across town to Aramil for help. Then the idiot ignored me when I tried to get his attention. After all this time, he acts like he doesn’t recognize me.
Eventually Drusilia came along and took me to the old hag to get fixed. I left that place as quick as I could, after a legitimate attempt to get the party out also. This left but one thing to do, kick Aramil’s *()^&* #ss for not helping me. To my surprise, he took the fight well, and we actually knocked each other out. This is new, usually he is out after two or three well placed shots.

I will have to buy him a beer in the morning to congratulate him.

Posted by Jim on July 23, 2003, 18:40

Note to self...

I have learned a valuable lesson today: don’t buy a pet while still drunk! I thought I was going to get a nice little puppy to raise, just for a buddy, wrong. I apparently bought a mentally challenged freak of nature. It doesn’t listen, it wanders all over, and it is ugly. And to make matters worse I paid a lot for it. Its name is supposed to be “Watch,” but I want to call it “Otto,” but it doesn’t respond to either as of yet.

Well we started the day off together, but Aramil wanted to finish his spells. I think he is just too sore from getting his butt kicked, again. So the rest of us head off without him to check out the tunnels beneath the town, when we hear a scream. We rush to find that Aramil is the latest victim of this creature. We find his familiar Jacob and Drusilia talks to him with her spell. Jacob states that his master is still alive and in some tunnel. This is good news, we have a chance.

Following the advice of the old hag (who I still don’t trust) we go to the tunnels, hoping that Jacob can help us find our lost friend. From the moment we entered the tunnels the party’s brains seemed effected. I continuously had to ask which way they went (they had been here before) only to find them arguing with each other. We traveled a good way and had to dispatch some strange ooze, only for Ghelt to decide we are too far away and that this way will just take us away from Aramil.

Having wasted a good part of the day we head back to town, there must be a way to get to this creature. I am growing more suspicious of the old hag, I think she led us the wrong way, but I shall keep this to myself, I don’t think the party will understand my point of view with the hag.

This mutt, well....., it seems to be hanging around good enough. And it is cute in a weird way, I just have to keep it out of my backpack until it gets through its puppy stage.

Posted by Jim on August 3, 2003, 12:32

The Rescue of Aramil

After returning to town empty handed the first time, I had and idea. I thought that if I could get Jacob near the old witch, he would let me know somehow that she was responsible. But to my surprise, I learned by watching him that we could follow his response to the outside town. I quickly gathered my companions and we headed off to find our friend.

We followed Jacob’s clues to the catacombs, an area we did not look for Aramil before. We came to a dead end where a tunnel was collapsed. Ghelt quickly set to work on getting through, with an emphasis on the rest of us staying out of the way.

Several of us went to a room with a symbol of Pelor on the door. I suggested that Drusilia put her symbol on it to see if it opened it........... I owe her a new holy symbol, as hers was damaged greatly. I tried throwing acid on the seal to test its weakness, without any luck. We returned to the dig-site with our depressed cleric in hand.

The noises from the stone were getting a bit creaky, so I suggested that Ghelt let me tie a rope to her to help us get her out if the ceiling begins to fall. She said she would the next time she came out of the crawl space. Then we heard a scream, and I dove into the tunnel after my friend, only to find the hole she fell through. After getting the rest of the party down, we again took our direction from Jacob.

We found a room filled with spider webs and cocoons. Then we were set upon by giant spiders, a battle in which we quickly dispatched the foe. In hindsight we had done it too quick. Well I offered to open the cocoons and try to free our friend while the party was going to chase the thing with white arms that ran from the battle.

Using Jacob, I quickly found the cocoon of Aramil and set to freeing him with the Sword of Pelor. That way I could cut him free easier and maybe give him some healing at the same time.

That is when the foul creature attacked. A drider dropped down behind me and attacked. I soon found myself lying on the floor just trying to avoid his multiple attacks. I heard my companions coming to my aid and took the chance to drink a vial of magic that turned me into a mist that the drider couldn’t hit.

Next the drider cast darkness, and I just tried to get away. Then I saw a flash of light and everything went black. Deep down, I think this was the work of Fafnir, the drider didn’t show any spell that could compare to it.

When I awoke, Aramil was safe and the drider was dead. Fafnir said he didn’t cast lightning, but I wonder. We searched the room and found a little loot, and a clue to follow, about the dark dwarf.

Posted by Jim on August 6, 2003, 20:06

The Search for the Beast

I would like to tell myself that we knew what we were doing. I would like to tell myself that we even made progress. The shame of it is that we need to pull together better, or we will die down here. And maybe I am to blame for it more than the others. But after that thing attacked me once, I was pissed.

During our crawl, I stopped to put up a signal, in case the creature came up the tunnel behind us. In hindsight I see the folly. The creature used the opportunity to attack me. It seems to be able to sense us, to the point of picking off the last party member, or lead member at its will.

At one point I sat in the hall by myself, just 15 feet from my friends, and tried to bait the monster in. He came, and attacked me, and the party attacked him. Almost as if my plan was working, until it decided to go back into its tunnels. I tried to latch on to it, to give the party a chance to finish the creature off. Unfortunately, Aramil took the chance to grab my feet and pull me off the creature. I continue to be amazed by my friend, one day I hope to know what the $#*^$ he is going to do, before he does it.

The battle continued, the creature would come and attack, then retreat. A very hard tactic for us to fight in the confined space. To make matters worse, that #$$#$* mutt, Otto, took off with Aramil’s spellbook. By the time Aramil could find anything of it, the dog had eaten half of it. I agreed with Aramil, that creature must die, it is no dog. I believe the witch sold it to us to distract us from the truth.

Well, we followed the monster for many hours to run into a dead end. While the party found it frustrating, it convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt, we will have to deal with the witch and maybe more from the carnival.

When we camped, I decided it was time to finish that mutt off. But no,… the clerics decided they like the creature and that it deserves to live. They can’t protect it forever, either Aramil or I will get it.

Posted by Jim on August 17, 2003, 14:33

And We Go

After a bit of our typical arguments, we used a magical egg of Valon’s to travel to the next site of the Hellfurnaces. At least that’s what they said we are doing. I still remember that he information came from the witch. Upon arriving we noticed we were not alone. There was a dragon looking to make us his midday snack. Someone noticed a cave opening and the party decided to go to it. This sounded bad to me, but hey, it was a direction to go.

Into the darkness we went, desperately trying to reach beyond the breath of the dragon. On we went into the cave, we traveled a while, beginning to wonder if there was any way out, or would we have to return to the dragon.

Eventually we found a way to drop to another cavern. Once down, we differed on what way to go, so we split into two groups and explored. Fafnir, Aramil and I traveled one way to make sure that nothing would be sneaking up on us from behind, and the others decided to go to the place we are here to seek, despite the fact that there is two weeks until it arrives.

We three traveled a bit and found another large cavern. Upon attempting to cross it, we found a puddle of lava started to follow us. We backed up and defended ourselves. After a short, and strange battle, we slew the creature. Then we traveled on again, looking for any signs of trouble, and any more of the traveling lava. After reaching a split in the path, we scouted both. One led to nowhere, the other to the surface and the dragon’s lair.

We returned to our comrades to tell them of the lair and the lava creature. Apparently they were too scared to scout without us, and made up a story to cover it up. A little too outrageous though. They say the lich from the city of the dead came and talked to them, took the Heart of Nerull, and gave it back. Then this lich, who wanted us dead before, simply left them.

The only irony of the story, is they said the lich warned them about the “angel,” saying not to trust it. I think they are just finally realizing what I said about it was true, and made up this story to explain why they agree with me.

Posted by Jim on August 24, 2003, 12:01

Deeper we go

Farther and farther we go, into the deep of the Hellfurnaces. The party has decided to go farther to find a way around the city of flaming lizard people. I am trying my best to scout ahead as they asked, but the party won’t stay at the distance I asked.

At one point the party gets close to me, so I wait for them to see if all is well. To my surprise Aramil has a large gash in his back. Aramil took a swing at the mutt that the cleric refused to keep on a leash, I don’t blame him. It is then that Aramil says Ghelt took a swing at him and nearly killed him. Then only gave a partial healing. Why do they care more for the dog than the party.

Add that to the fact that Ghelt used her restore spell on the dog instead of me when I was wounded, makes me wonder what is going on. I may have to take matters into my own hands to fix this. I will not stand by and have my friend die due to the cleric’s desire to have a happy puppy.

Posted by Jim on August 30, 2003, 15:49


Well I have made a decision, we are all either going to die, or be turned into mindless minions for all of time. I wish I could tell you of a valiant mission to save all of elvinkind, or of the skill we displayed in battle, I can’t. No, we stink at the fighting thing, only one member of the party has skill in hand to hand, and when she gets knocked silly, we are doomed.

All of my life I heard the stories of heroes who would save the day, no matter the cost to themselves. I often dreamed of being the one who would jump in at the last second to deny the forces of evil, to save the day. Now I fear we are serving the evil.

We found ourselves in a situation where we had to defeat three monks to get some keys, to open something, to destroy the Heart. I won’t go into the fighting any more than to say, WE NEED MORE FIGHTERS. Oh, I would give my left arm to have Glorn with us now. He was a fighter let me tell you, yup, a barbarian from the north that could do little but fight. But oh, could that man fight. Glorn took out three gnolls who ambushed us, and he wasn’t armed.

Anyway, we get the keys and use them, save the day time, no, screw up time. After the last key was turned the pain started. The center of the floor in the main room opened releasing some sort of creature that is beyond a true description. It was larger than a team of horses, yet not really there. To top that it lashed out at us with tendrils that destroyed by mere touch. We did manage to toss the Heart into it, but the cost was great. We were no match for the creature as it ate through the walls and escaped into the world. The creature wandered off while we stood in awe, not to mention we lost most of our armor and our health was near nonexistent.

At least we did have time to read the runes in the hole, that seemed to have been holding this creature back, at least until we opened it. Now to figure out which evil person we helped, and then figure out how to stop their plans, without helping the other evil person do more harm to the world.

Posted by Jim on October 3, 2003, 14:02


Um, back in the real world. Busy, ahh I missed this stuff. Fun, they will drag us away again soon, have to get my fix of fun in first. Got to go, got an idea, heheheeh he will hate me soon.

Posted by Jim on October 18, 2003, 11:48

I Love This Place

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Jim on November 2, 2003, 11:45

Uhh Oh....

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

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

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

Posted by Jim on November 9, 2003, 15:14

Does she want me dead?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Jim on November 12, 2003, 11:46

Deeper into the ruins we go

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Jim on November 30, 2003, 11:46

Can It Get Worse?

Now I try not to believe in bad luck. I try not to buy into the idea of a bad place. But man, this place is creeping me out. Maybe it is just the effects of returning from stone. Maybe it is something to do with how they did that, or where I was. But I tell you nothing has gone right since my return.

Battle, I fought my best against that thing and didn’t even chip a tiny stone off if it. Thank the gods that Ghelt could fight as long as she did, it was beginning to look real bad.

Checking for traps, HA! I couldn’t have done worse if I was blindfolded. And have you ever started something just to realize as you pass the point of no return that you messed up bad? Like leaping over the trap and you realize this is the real trap. As you miss the fake trap and hit the real one, all you can think is ‘I am so stupid,’ as you crash into the spikes.

Then you have to put up with the wisecracks from the mages. If I could lift my left arm without pain, I would smack them both.

Then there is that one spot where my mind got taken over by an evil creature. The only bright side of that one was that I got to shoot Fafnir, not that that is a good thing. But it makes him think a little.

I would tell you more, but I am currently trying to get myself out of another trap I fell into. This day will never end.

Posted by Jim on December 6, 2003, 09:22