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October 10, 2007


Janet's Journal

Fortuna stood in the room as two suits of armor came to life and marched toawrd her, passing swords mounted upon the walls. Elizair shouted “Back up!” to her, and she moved back toward us, but the suits of armor attacked her anyway. I quickly backed up and cast “bless” upon the whole party, Elizair zapped the armor with electricity, the kobold shot sizzling green arrows, and Munthrek charged the room. Of course, both suits attacked him.

Fortuna was close enough to hit the armor with her mace. I worked my way around behind Munthrek, who was looking a bit staggered, healed him, and continued around the outer edge of the room to Fortuna. Elizair kept casting - now shocking grasp - and the kobold Grlzick hit the same suit of armor with a green arrow, causing it to collapse! Munthrek continued to trade blows with the remaining armor, while Fortuna and I swiped at the backs of its knees with our maces.

Elizair walked over to look at the swords on the walls - and two of them came to life, flinging themselves at Elizair and me. Munthrek, staggering again, shouted at us all to “Get out!!” I decided to retreat forward, and threw myself at the trap door. It was unlocked, so I yanked it open, revealing a set of steps spiraling down into darkness. I yelled, “Come on, guys!” and headed in while the others finished off the suit of armor.

I had my everlasting torch out after the first turn, and the rest of the party soon followed me down toward a strange musical sound. Thumping, chimes, whistling, and then a flickering light! I put the torch away and we peeked around the corner. A massive, half-carved stone statue romped about the room, each step causing the lab equipment lining the walls to rattle and chime together. A weird glowing electrical ball floated in one corner, lighting the room - and a half-clothed body by the far wall.

As we watched, a distortion wave came off the sphere; a bolt of lightning struck and we could see a strange landscape inside! We drew back to talk over what we’d seen, and then Elizair and Fortuna walked out to try to talk to it. The statue didn’t answer, but it did advance across the room toward them, dragging an uncarved leg of granite along. Fortuna decided that it was slow and clumsy enough to evade, and dashed to one side toward the body on the floor. A chain unwound itself from the wall and snaked after her, trying to entangle her!

She got to the body but now glass flasks were flying off the shelves and smashing on and near her. I dashed through the crowd, narrowly missed by both the statue and the chain, and ended up next to her. I checked the human for signs of life - he just seemed to be unconscious. Elizair cast something at the statue and got hit in return, more flasks flew at us, and I pulled the human’s helmet off before casting a healing spell. He woke up!

Fortuna quickly told him we needed help - and was he Lord Zadrian? Before he could answer, the helmet in my hands gave a yank! It flew out of my hands and landed back on his head and down he went again! At this point, torches on the walls lit themselves and attacked us, too. Plus, the helmet would not come off, no matter how I pulled on it. I’m afraid I said a few things unworthy of a priestess of Pelor at that point.

Around the room I saw Elizair casting at the sphere, with no effect, while Munthrek fought the stone statue - and then got tangled up by the chains. Grlzick cast more of the green arrows at it, and then I saw that Fortuna had managed to wrestle the helmet off of the human’s head again and was trying to stuff it in her haversack! Between attacks from flying flasks and burning torches, I grabbed my own magical haversack and popped it over the helmet while she held it.

Now the human was able to stand up (and be attacked by a torch), while Fortuna drank a quick potion and asked him what we should do to stop the mayhem. The human looked around and said that we needed some of the “first spirit” - quicksilver! We had none with us, so someone would have to brave all the crazy rooms we’d passed through back to the main hall, and scoop up a sample to bring back.

Munthrek broke free of his chains, attacking the statue once more, while I healed myself a little and pulled out my mace. Fortuna tore off across the room, avoiding the immediate dangers, carrying one of the whole crystal globes to fill with quicksilver. The human was scouring the remaining flasks of the laboratory in vain, while I managed to “kill” a torch. We fought hard until Fortuna returned, with flying books and knives in tow! Oops.

I was using my sling to chip away at the statue when she got back to our corner of the room; Elizair was smashing a “caught” flask full of acid on it too. The human told us that the quicksilver had to hit the crystal at the top of the rotating sphere - easy with a mage hand spell - but everyone who could cast it had already used it up! Then, the human said that any amount would work. Fortuna and I quickly dipped our ammunition in the silver liquid and took aim.

Fortuna was hit by a flask as she steadied her shot - it broke, blurring her vision, but she tried anyway and her crossbolt flew wide of the mark. I carefully took aim, praying to Pelor, and my sling bullet cracked across the crystal an instant later. Ting! Vibrated across the room, shaking the whole house, causing glowing cracks to open in the cellar walls, and the sphere disappeared - along with the rest of the house!

Sunlight shone down from a clear blue sky above, and Elizair’s bird flew down to greet him with a dwarven phrase that made me blush to hear. Poor Lord Zadrian lost everything, except the contents of his cellar and the swords from the walls in the armor room (Munthrek had stashed them in case they were going to attack, too), plus the one formerly flying book that Fortuna had netted. I asked him about the helm in my haversack - it was a helm of sleep.

I wondered why it was trying to jump on his head, and he explained that he was trying to create an interdimensional web. Some entities came through and possessed various inanimate objects in his house. He tried to shut down the web, and they used his own helm against him! Now that the web was closed, he figured that it was safe to take the helm out, so I gingerly handed it back to him.

He thought that we’d been helped by his journal - the open tome surrounded by coffins. When we told him we’d avoided the thing like the plague, he wondered aloud whether we were heroes or fools! We also had to tell him that his stable was empty, and learned that the “servant” we saw in town was actually himself in disguise. Determined to be the hermit, indeed.

We then offered to escort him to town, and explained how his daughter had sent us. He declined, hoping to continue his work here. I had no idea how, but then, I know little about the capacities of wizards! Grlzick asked to stay as well, wishing to learn more about the interdimensional web. Zadrian agreed. We asked about how to prove to his daughter that he was (now) safe, and he found a pen and paper to write her a note, sealing it with his seal and handing over his signet ring.

We spent the night and set out refreshed in the morning. A quiet walk back to town and we were soon telling the tale to the Lady’s retainer, giving him the letter and the ring, and getting our money in return!

Posted by Kate at 00:11 | Janet’s Journal

Between Jobs

Munthrek's Journal

Now this is a bit more like it. Here we sit 1500 gold richer and a job well done. The two suits of armor were more annoying then they were worth until the swords on display came off the walls to attack us. Once they were all put down we descended through a trap door in the floor and down a spiraling stairwell. That’s were we saw the strangest thing, a half-built granite golem apparently trying to dance around the room, and an unconscious human on the far side. I’m a bit lost with how things went next, fighting both a golem and a chain that was trying to entangle me. I notice Fortuna run past me at one point yelling something about quicksilver, and a few minutes later she was back carrying some. The next thing I know the walls are cracking and there is a loud noise. Then the golem and chain fall to the ground and everything is quiet. Sunlight is above us and the fight is over. I was informed that the quicksilver turned off some type of interdimensional web. Alchemy and magic are both out of my league. Maybe one day I’ll understand them better. Anyway, we found who we were looking for, and now we’re enjoying ourselves until the next job comes along.

Posted by Fred at 11:00 | Munthrek’s Journal

October 11, 2007

Fun with Alchemy

Fortuna's Journal

Reaping 8, 594 CY

…and were attacked by suits of armor and swords. Thankfully the armor wasn’t wielding the swords. It was a clumsy fight around a trapdoor in the floor. Elizair “slew” one of the swords, and the kobold took out a suit of armor. I fought a sword off that attempted to attack the kobold and then finished off the other suit of armor. I could see Janet out of the corner of my eye one minute; the next she had yanked the trapdoor open and was down a stairwell. We all followed her down as quickly as possible, listening to some strange, rhythmic music coming from somewhere below. We saw a light, and headed towards it, the “music” getting louder as we approached.

We were met with a strange sight: a stone creature with a huge block of granite where one leg should be, stomping around in a circle, while waves of distortion and lightning leapt forth from a ball in the corner of what must be the alchemist’s lab. Near that, a half-naked, limp human lay on the floor. Sure that it was Lord Zadrian, I quickly made my way towards him, having to wiggle out of some chains that kept trying to grab me. I got to the old man, but couldn’t rouse him right away; thankfully Janet had snuck past the dancing rock monster to heal him. As she did so, vials of some rather nasty (and painful) liquids kept smashing into us. The man did not regain consciousness until Janet wrestled a bronze helmet off of him. He started to rouse when the helmet leapt out of her hands and landed squarely on his head again! He went limp again. I managed to wrestle the helm back off as torches flew off the walls to hit us, and Janet shoved the helm into her haversack before it could undo our progress again.

The man, who did turn out to be Zadrian, said that he needed quicksilver to stop the attacks from the normally-inanimate objects and the other weirdness that had befallen his home. I remembered the quicksilver in the first room we’d fought our way through, so I ran back through all the rooms to retrieve some. Thankfully only a few knives and books followed me back to the lab. The two sorcerers were fighting off the stone creature while Munthrek appeared to be keeping the animated chains occupied.

Zadrian told Janet and I that we need only hit a crystal on the pulsating sphere in the corner with a drop of the quicksilver, without actually touching the sphere ourselves, and the dimensional rifts it had caused would disappear. No problem! Just as I was about to hit it with a bolt, a flask of something that blurred my vision hit me square in the face. Thankfully Janet has that innate ability that halflings have, and was able to hit the crystal with a sling stone on her first try. Everything that had been zipping around the room dropped to the floor. We found ourselves in a basement, staring up at the open sky. Apparently the rest of the mansion got sucked into the various planes that had invaded the individual rooms. Elizair was greeted with the familiar, rude-sounding squawk from Babble, and we could see the empty stable beyond the walls of the cellar.

We decided to spend the night with the alchemist, who assured us that he could restore much of his lost mansion easily enough. He told us of his attempts to create an “interdimensional web” had resulted in entities coming into this plane and possessing various objects in his mansion—and when he attempted to abort the project, the helm of sleep attacked him, keeping him, well, asleep!

In the morning, Zadrian told us he need not accompany us back to town for any supplies, but gave us a note and his signet ring to show our employer he was alive and well. The kobold sorcerer decided to stay with the elderly human—I assume he will help restore the lab—both he and Zadrian seemed pleased with the idea.

We are home again, and Elizair and I went to have some items identified. I’m sorry to say the robe of stars we found is cursed, but even knowing that, one of the local merchants purchased it. I got to keep the shortsword. Elizair and Munthrek kept calling it a “dagger” but it’s very clearly a shortsword made for someone my size (Janet prefers weapons that “bash” things to swords, so we needn’t even offer it to her). The sword has some potent magic, and my friends seem to think it would be good for me to use when I sneak up on something. And, since they’ve now invested the best piece of loot in me, we must go find something equally awesome for each of them. Back to the Staggering Lich to wait for work to find us!

Posted by Kristin at 19:08 | Fortuna’s Journal

October 25, 2007

More than a cave-in

Munthrek's Journal

Sitting here trapped in a dwarven mine I’m left to wonder: should we have passed on this one? My companions wanted to make sure the miners were okay, and I figured the reward would make it worthwhile. Besides it really sounded like there was just a cave-n. When the kid rode into town and told us about the problem it sounded easy. The people living in the small village the mine is close to only seemed concerned. Now, however, after not finding a single living human or dwarf, and having to fight these strange insect-like creatures, I’m starting to wonder what the miners uncovered. I would recommend going back to town and send for help, but the entrance is caved in and this is starting to feel like a large grave. Well I need to keep myself together and go on from there. I’m not going down without a fight.

Posted by Fred at 13:32 | Munthrek’s Journal

October 26, 2007

Miner Problems

Fortuna's Journal

Reaping 11, 594 CY
Dwarven mines

Still buoyed by our success and financial gain from our latest adventure, we all sat at our favorite table at the Staggering Lich, trying to decide what to do. None of us really needed any more coin, but we all enjoyed the combining of our various talents to achieve a common goal, and wished to have a similar quest to our last, rather than the mundane mercenary work we normally procure. Once again, luck proved to be ours—a commotion was coming from the courtyard in the middle of town, and we hurried out to see an unfamiliar man surrounded by locals. I wended my way through the throng, Janet beside me, to get a closer look. It was just a young man talking to the town guards, but his story turned out to be of interest to the four of us, so we pulled him aside to get some details:

Robar, as he called himself, had just arrived from the hamlet of Turnel, about two days’ walk into the Yatul Mountains west, to beg for rescuers to make the trip back with him. We were already jumping on the opportunity to help before we even got all the details, but we had plenty of time to get those on our trip! Seems there had been a series of earth tremors in the local silver mine, causing a collapse, and the dwarven miners had not been seen since. A rescue group dispatched to aid them also had not returned, and the hamlet had so few people that they needed to have Robar take a horse and ride to a larger town for help.

We were very confident that we could save the rescuers and miners, or at least report on their fate. Munthrek and I took (uneventful) watches on our one night on the open road, so that Janet and Elizair could get the rest they needed for spellcasting. I’m teaching Munthrek the Terran language—there’s always a chance that whatever caused the tremors is something that dwells below the mines, and being able to talk to such creatures might prove useful. Maybe he’ll teach me to understand what that damn parrot is always blurting at me—no chance of Elizair helping out there!

After a quiet night in Turnel’s Roc Roost Inn, we headed out the half day’s journey to the mine. As we entered the cave entrance, I wondered aloud if there was a second way out—there must be, but we didn’t have any idea where it would be, so we continued in through the known access.

We found a few equipment sheds and a dead dwarf pretty quickly. Elizair also found a silver ring (well, actually it was on the corpse) that will need to be studied later. Munthrek tried to dig around the area a bit, and we felt some tremors—and then the entrance collapsed. So, we decided we should do some investigating, and hopefully find another access to the outside. We did find something—a mechanical cage and crank over a 6’-wide shaft. We were about to lower Munthrek in the contraption when a chittering sound reached us. We all turned to see a huge scorpion-ant creature, and it didn’t look friendly! My friends’ weapons were bouncing off its carapace, but that enchanted dagger I was carrying made a terrific gash in the creature. Janet finished off that bug-thing while I ran to fight another that was attacking Elizair.

We decided to try to find another way down into the deeper mines, so Munthrek (who can see as well as I do) and I scouted ahead. We found several more sheds, some water-filled passages (avoided for now) and some rope and pulley systems in a few more shafts. Elizair and I went down through one of these shafts, and were met with more of the bug-creatures at the bottom. I was injured trying to protect Elizair, but thankfully Janet came down the rope and used some divine healing magic on me. The attacks of these creatures are particularly scary, as they seem to have venom that causes paralysis. I was wondering if they did other bug-like things, such as communicating with a hive mind (I felt like the bug-scorpions were purposely attacking me first when possible!), when Munthrek remembered he had bug-repelling candles in his haversack. I was pretty sure the candles are for little bugs, not human-sized killers, but he wanted us to each take some.

I then snuck ahead alone, trying to see if I could learn any more about the big insects, when to my horror I came upon a pair of them eating a dwarf! I tried to hit them with a few bolts before my friends caught up, but I missed. Worse, when I turned to go back to the group I was hit with paralysis again, and was being dragged away to gods-know-where. When Munthrek realized his candles weren’t going to do the job, he wrestled the big bugs to rescue me, and they fled. The bugs left behind a group of half-eaten dwarves—a miner and five warriors. The dwarves must have been overcome by the paralyzing venom—one died still holding an axe (which Elizair says is radiating magic). We also found some scrolls for healing and water-breathing. We’ve not found anyone alive though, dwarf or otherwise, and this rescue effort is looking grim.

Posted by Kristin at 16:35 | Fortuna’s Journal

October 31, 2007

Paralysis Analysis

Fortuna's Journal

Reaping 12, 594 CY
Dwarven mines

Elizair and Munthrek decided to equip themselves with the magic ring and axe that we found— figuring the dwarves probably thought them to be useful. We headed back to the ground level of the mine, and checked out one of the water-filled passages. My 10’ pole indicated the water to only be a foot deep; nevertheless, I put a fishhook on a line to see if there was anything in the water. Nothing biting in there! We opted to try the rest of the “dry” tunnels before walking through this one.

Babble flew ahead of us into a large cavern, and disturbed some creatures; once again, the ant-scorpions chose to attack. I’ve been hit by their venom-filled stingers so many times now that I believe I am immune, which no doubt causes the big bugs some dismay. We quickly dispatched two while one chose to slink away down a mine shaft. Elizair dropped a feather on it, and we heard a loud “whump”— apparently, the feather was a heavy ship’s anchor in disguise. We tossed the other bug bodies down the shaft as well, in case there was any question which of our bands was the victor.

Later we found another group of bugs and Janet and Elizair lit flasks of oil to throw at them (only catching Munthrek on fire once or twice in the process). That killed the bugs quite nicely, though I’m somewhat disturbed to mention that Janet went up and sampled one of them afterwards. She said it tasted like chicken.

At this point, Elizair decided he could actually cast a ball of fire without the aid of oil and proceeded to fry a few more of the bug creatures. Each time we repeated this process, we made sure to dump the bodies down the nearest shaft. Elizair must be immune to the poison now too, as he’s been struck by the venomous tails several times without much ill effect.

Janet and Elizair did run out of spells though, so we opted to rest for a while. Thankfully it was an uneventful while; I taught Munthrek some Terran even though the bugs don’t seem to respond to it.

After resting we went back to bug-killing. We have it down to a science, but are starting to get a bit sloppy with the execution; I’ve managed to tumble right under a bug twice, and Janet got herself entangled in her own trap. I think we’ll have to go back down one of these shafts if we want to have any hope of finding any dwarven or human survivors, or at least a way out….

Posted by Kristin at 13:09 | Fortuna’s Journal