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Jak’s Journal

Sharn, Therendor 16, 998 YK

Dear Morghan—

I know this letter will likely be delivered with the last I sent, but I’m just glad I’m alive to send it at all!

We took Jin up into the city to find a healer, though he asked to go to a temple in his apparent delirium. We just let him babble on about clerics and took him to the closest Healer’s Guild. His mention of temples was timely though, as I had not realized it was Sun’s Blessing until the day was almost past. I had to make a way too brief stop at the Pavilion of the Host near our compound to leave an offering. I don’t believe any of my companions follow the Sovereign Host. We also stopped at the Broken Anvil for a meal and I sent a message to our Cannith patron, after having to repeatedly assure our friends that I could compose a note without confusing or insulting the other House!

This morning we all met again at the Broken Anvil and a courier from House Cannith arrived while we were waiting for our breakfast. He presented us, as we hoped, with the Cannith Journal. We’ve been taking turns skimming through it for any mention of the artifact. Before we headed off for the sewers below Dura, Jin decided to change his form, but for some reason, felt the need to go off and do so alone. Of course, he was still wearing the same clothing when he returned to the table, so we knew it was him.

We arrived back at the hatch, somewhat surprised that there wasn’t a soul in the market area, when it had been teeming just yesterday. K’ehleyr, who is a lot more battle hardened than the rest of us, took the journal towards the glowing blue house symbol. Thankfully, the hatch responded to that and opened up!

It got a bit nasty from there on in. The hatch revealed a vertical shaft that stretched as far as the eye could see in either direction. There had been a ladder at some point, but it had rusted away. And it was replaced with bugs. Really big bugs! We had to carefully make our way down the rough rock walls of the narrow shaft for about 500’, after which the angle became easier to navigate, though it continued in a generally downward direction. Sharn must go down below sea level as much as it rises above it!

By the time we did find a floor like level, we had gotten used to the bugs— that is, until we saw a carpet moving across the floor of a humongous cavern at us, clicking and chittering. Beetle swarm! Gib considered trying to eat them all, but they looked as determined to eat him, so we resorted to throwing lamp oil that I lit with a quick spell (see, I told you cantrips are good for things other than amusement!).

This seemed to drive the swarm off, and so we began to explore the huge vaulted chamber we now found ourselves in, hoping to find the foundry quickly.

Now, after that, things are a little hazy. I woke up on the floor of an ancient temple, with Gib trying to drip water from an enchanted fountain into my mouth. Apparently, we’d been accosted by some large acid-spewing rats, and both Jin and I had been nearly killed with their first attack! I owe Gib one. He and K’ehleyr had noticed a symbol they did not recognize at the font— Onatar, god of Artifice and the Forge. We were certainly on the right track!

Now that we were all conscious, we needed to get moving again, so we began to pick our way through the rubble of some buildings that had not stood the test of time as well as the temple had. We found one that could only be the foundry we sought, but could not find a way inside! As we debated over this, Jin found something in the journal mentioning a magic lock on some door, the frame of which had three distinct indentations in it (a pentagon, triangle and square), and in which order the indentations needed to be “unlocked,” had we only the three keys necessary to do so! Gib climbed to the top of the building, looking for another way in, and found a hole in its roof. Inside, there were two sets of glowing eyes— on two metal dogs, both obviously guarding something within. Another dog appeared to have been crushed when a section of the roof had caved in. We attempted to attack the remaining two from the roof, eager to prevent the necessity of getting close to those sharp metal teeth, but they were not willing to be baited out into the open, so we had to drop down on ropes to fight them. We’d hoped they would cease attacking when they saw the symbol on the journal, but they did not relent. Jin and Gib were both taken down by the creatures, K’ehleyr was not able to climb down with that big weapon she carries around, but she kept the metal canines off balance while I hit them. We could tell when they were dispatched, as a rod popped out of the head of each of them as they died. Each rod fit in an indentation in the magic lock spoken of in the journal, and realizing that, we cleared the rubble around the crushed dog until we found the third rod.

A panel on the forge wall had these three indentations in it, and upon using the rods, slid open to reveal that which we sought: the seven-pointed adamantine schema. We also found four potions, a map, some ancient gold and silver coins, gold ingots, and some good quality weapons and armor. Luckily, the potions turned out to be the kind that would heal our unconscious companions, so moments later Gib and Jin were helping us plan our departure from the underground ruins.

Just as we were climbing out of the foundry to return to the surface world, a flaming crossbow bolt shot past K’ehleyr’s head, and a voice called out, “Drop that schema!”

Posted by Kristin on September 2, 2005, 15:58 | Jak’s Journal