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Jak’s Journal

Whitehearth, Eyre 11, 998 YK

No sooner had I finished my missive in Rose Quarry, than Jin and I both came up with a solution— two different solutions— to our current puzzles— the map, and the location of our friends. We cleared some more debris, all the while Jin making adjustments to his facial features. By the time I had paced off the map from the colored seals in front of each hearth, and determined we needed to be about 25 miles outside of what had been the hamlet of Olkham, Jin bore a startling resemblance to the male Emerald Claw agent lying outside of the foundry building. He wanted me to pepper him with some arrows and make some realistic wounds, but I suggested he just add some bruises through shapeshifting— that seemed enough to make him look like he’d been on the wrong side of a fight. He suggested I head back to the land cart, while he went into the camp to look for Gib and K’ehleyr— I was still hoping they had returned to the cart but too many hours had passed. I had the dwarven zombie obliterate much of the map and all of the statues, to prevent our adversaries from finding any of the remaining foundries, wished Jin luck, and headed back to the cart as quickly as I could.

Somehow, Jin managed to pull it off; shortly after I arrived at the cart (Failin asking me if I was “ready to go” yet again), he was running towards us as fast as he could, K’ehleyr and Gib (unconscious and flung over the elf’s shoulder) not far behind. They leaped in and we took off, leaving a group of the Emerald Claw in our wake.

Jin managed to surprise us again by convincing Failin to drive us all the way to our destination; Failin had been adamant about only taking us as far as the border of Dead-Gray Mist. K’ehleyr was very upset because most of her equipment and our bag of supplies from Lady D’Vown had been left behind. I’m not sure which of us realized that the sapphire rod/key had been in that bag, or which of us realized that Gib had probably removed it to safety, considering it one of his own valuable “possessions.” Searching him, even unconscious, would prove fruitless, so we had to hope he’d present the key when and if the need arose.

I cannot do justice with my description of the Mournland. The mist surrounded us, but did not hide the many dead Brelish and Cyran soldiers that littered the battlefield from four years ago, preserved and looking as if they had just fallen moments before. While the air seemed still, we would occasionally hear something moving in the distance, and once saw a skeletal wolf/humanoid thing lurch out from behind a ballista.

An hour further in brought us more of the same, though one pile of corpses, mostly Valenar elves and Talenta Plains halflings, looked more decomposed than the other soldiers, and suddenly grew eight legs and attempted to follow us! It attempted to spear K’ehleyr as the land cart sped past, but thankfully missed.

We eventually came to some low hills where we believed Whitehearth to be, and discovered a timbered mine shaft opening bearing the House Cannith seal. Gib had regained consciousness, and I’d healed everyone as much as I could. We entered the mine.

The shaft brought us out in a 15’ by 15’ cavern, and branched into two tunnels. We took the left branch, went a few feet, and came to a metal hatch that clearly needed an object, a sapphire rod-shaped object, inserted into it. We told Gib that he might have something on him somewhere that would unlock it, and we all turned away so he could perform his “magic” on the lock.

We heard a yelp, and turning around, found a smoldering Gib lying next to the hatch, sapphire key a few inches from his hand. He was still alive, but knocked out again. I took him back to the cart where Failin waited for us, and before he could ask if I was “ready to go,” told him we wouldn’t be heading out until I carried the rest of the group out— that confused him good.

Unfortunately, I was hauling Jin out, smoking and unconscious, a few moments later. We’d found another hatch further down the right tunnel (which also branched) with the same results.

Later still, K’ehleyr and I were standing in front of another hatch. Not wishing to be zapped by a trap, I used a Mage Hand spell to insert the key. The shaft opened up! We found that we had to descend a very long shaft, through some magical darkness, into a spherical room. The room only contained an octagonal raised plate, with five sockets in it— five blue, two brown and two green. I continued to use Mage Hand to test the rod in different sockets; nothing happened with the brown or green sockets, but using the rod in the blue sockets causes the sound of rumbling outside of the room, producing various shafts to investigate. Now, which one is the one that will lead us to the schema?

Posted by Kristin on November 16, 2005, 14:07 | Jak’s Journal