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Red at Night

Jak’s Journal

Rose Quarry, Eyre 9, 998 YK


I have just realized that this is the first time in my life that I’ve been away from anyone in House Lyrandar for more than a few days! You had best try to meet up with me soon, or I’ll have to pretend K’ehleyr is my sister.

Rhukaan Draal has not changed since the last time I was on a ship docked there, but it was the first time I’ve been to the “Bloody Market.” What a crazy place! None of the vendors had anything I could possibly use, but a few coins for their time could get them talking. I learned that the ones with the most useless junk tended to have the most valuable in formation, and vice versa. Once this dawned on me, I quickly found the guy with the most useless wares and got the info we needed to find our contact, though I did “trade” my fiddle with two broken strings for the information. At some point during the hour or so that this took, Gib wandered off. Or perhaps he didn’t— there were so many goblins in the market that he could have been a few yards from us just blending in! K’ehleyr chose to just keep watch (and look less like a Valenar elf) and Jin was uncharacteristically quiet.

We found our contact, Failin, in a tavern just west of the market. The merchant that had given us directions called it the “Clenched Fist” and though there was no placard, there was an actual clenched ogre’s hand nailed above the door. It’s just as well that Gib had wandered off, as the clientele inside was clearly not goblinoid.

Jin found the person we sought— a red-headed, blue-eyed gangly human called Failin, so we sat down at his table and began to negotiate. He said he’d take us to Rose Quarry by land cart! I was thrilled by this, as I’ve never been on a vehicle moved by an earth elemental before, but I told him we had to wait for Gib. As luck would have it, Gib had figured out where we were and was waiting outside, so we gave our fare to Failin (who promptly gave it to the tavern keeper) and we left to walk to his cart. We had just stepped outside when two things happened— the first, two bugbears came out of nowhere and yelled “Failin, you cheating bastard!” and second, Failin was no longer with us. Come to think of it, make it three, as Gib had disappeared again as well. I was hesitant to get in a fight with the locals, but I had no problems with confusing them, so I shouted something to the effect of “How stupid do you have to be to not see the guy that you were looking for just ran past you into the marketplace?” which thankfully worked. Better still, Failin and Gib reappeared moments later, so we were able to get the cart unmolested.

The land cart was an interesting vehicle— it looked to be made of wood and stone, with wheels that merged with the ground when Failin took control of the elemental. I saw that he has a House Orien dragonmark, but he was emphatic that his last name was not d’Orien, so I’m not sure what his relation to Orien is, if any. Nice enough guy though, but not too talkative, or rather, he talks, but manages to not say anything about himself. I wonder if I would have been able to control an earth elemental, but did not get to find out!

It took us over three days to get to Rose Quarry, and we arrived at dusk. Long before we got there, we could see that horrid gray mist that surrounds the Mournlands stretching across the horizon in front of us. Rose Quarry is just outside of that area. Failin did volunteer the information that much of the red rock used in construction came from the mines here.

Rose Quarry is small— about 300’ by 400’ all told, and for the most part, the village is burned to the ground. From the land cart, it appeared that there was a large section covered in ice. We also thought we heard the sounds of picks on the north end, and could see four tents, a campfire, sixteen horses, and men and skeletons milling about in the south end! Gib decided to check out the south while the rest of us, who didn’t think we could be as quiet as our goblin companion, decided to check north. Failin waited at the cart.

Disaster! The “ice” we saw, was in fact, a large sheet of glass covering the plateau the village sits on. Two figured were moving quickly towards us— dwarven zombies, covered in what looked like glass shells! We were able to beat them back (I had to sing loud enough to inspire my surprised friends, but quiet enough to not be heard at the campsite) for a while, but K’ehleyr was struck hard by one and went down. I was able to heal her, and told Jin to retreat, but he would not. Suddenly we hear commotion on the other side of the village— Gib must have been spotted. I again called to Jin to retreat as K’ehleyr and I were about to run ourselves, when we saw him go down under the combined attacks of the two undead dwarves....

Posted by Kristin on September 28, 2005, 16:52 | Jak’s Journal