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A lass and A lack!

Nosila’s Journal

We shared out the loot, reserving the magic items for our “party” to take to a larger town. I have more gold and silver than I’ve ever seen, before! I wonder what I will buy with it?

After that, we went to bed.

Except, Charzth said to me, “We need to talk”. He said that he “needed some space!” He said that he needed “time off” to think! He said that being married wasn’t turning out like he thought it would, that it was “his problem, not mine.” And he’ll maybe be back sometime, and he still thinks I smell good. Then he was gone. What did I do wrong?

I’m too embarrassed to go home. What would my father think?

The next morning, I met with the rest of the group, who decided to go shopping. I tried to pay attention to what one buys with 800-plus gold, but I found myself looking all around, just in case Charzth had done enough thinking already and come back. By the third time I tripped over a little person, they realized I was the only tall one around today.

(OK, it came out because I finally realized Roscoe was loading me down with his purchases like a pack animal and I picked him up by one ankle to discuss the matter, which got everyone’s attention...)

I sat down and cried a little, which really did help some, and explained to them the best I could that my husband wasn’t going to be around for a while, but I didn’t want to go home without him. They seemed glad that I wanted to stay with them for now. They even tried to make me feel better but I’m not up for jokes just yet.

Back at the tavern, we talked about whether the magical stuff we’d found was cursed, and, if it was, how to remove any curses? I told them I was willing to try anything on as a test, even the plain gold band that looks just like the wedding rings they wear in some parts of the realm...

The gold ring didn’t do anything. Roscoe tried it on and decided to keep it, since it matched his pendant. The silver ring made me stop feeling chilly - I was happy to keep that one, for now! The mace didn’t do anything, but it felt wonderfully well-made. I gave a couple of swings with it and liked it a lot. I thought that perhaps Bryrgar would want it, but he seems happy with the axe his deity honors, so I ended up with the mace, too, for now.

Finally, we set off east, after the cleric Giles and his band, and hopefully, the bishop’s rod for the lich! Bryrgar still had his warbarrow and braziers, thumping his way around the trees and rocks of the forest floor. Sprocket ended up sitting on my shoulders and using my head as a prop for the lich’s journal. Sometimes she read parts out loud for us. She and Roscoe talked about a bunch of things. They lie a lot! I told them about our winter Lying Contest and thought they’d do very well in it, especially Sprocket! At least the walk wasn’t boring...

Suddenly, a bear loomed out of the darkness of the woods! We all stopped right away. When it didn’t immediately attack, we began to slowly back away. Then, a gnome with a spear stepped out from behind the bear! He didn’t attack, either. In fact, he tried to warn us that the woods were not safe. After some confusing conversation, Sprocket finally got us all introduced, and asked the wild gnome about the last party of travelers to come through. And, thank Ubtao, he had seen them!

Colmarr was interested in our story of the lich and the zombie attacks on the village. He knew which set of ruins Giles and his party went to some days ago, and was willing to lead us there. We hid Bryrgar’s warbarrow, and set off with the wild gnome. After he made the mistake of pointing out owlbear tracks (we had to dissuade Roscoe from chasing after them, instead), we kept everyone on-topic by talking about the other group. Colmarr said there were two human, one half-elf, and one “almost-human” - with all black eyes. Wonder what that is? We reached the edge of the ruins as night fell.

Expecting the other group to be long-gone anyway, we camped outside. The night passed quietly, once we got used to the strange shadows that flitted about inside the ruins.. Roscoe’s watch passed with him occasionally muttering, “There goes one! Whoops! There’s another!” but he didn’t try to chase them. Restless spirits of the forest, said Colmarr, former inhabitants of a kingdom cursed and lost to monsters. It made me wonder what Giles wanted to do here... set off more trouble?

We found a circular stair into the ground inside the ruins. Colmarr would not go any further, saying the forest only was his realm. We thanked him, and, praying he hadn’t led us to a trap, set off into the deeps.

The hallway at the base of the steps was full of cobwebs, but we could see tracks through the dust. Roscoe got tangled in a web, which woke up the giant spiders! He was bitten several times, even as I shot arrows and Bryrgar went swinging with his axe and Sprocket pulled out a weird tube thing and BOOM, I found out the source of the strange noise in our fights! It did take a big chunk out of a spider, though. Poor Roscoe was poisoned, losing his strength to the point that he couldn’t even carry his own pack... or his armor. So I’m his pack mule after all, but I don’t mind.

Bryrgar used a torch to burn away the webs, following the footprints. We met with more spiders, and these ones shot webbing to tangle us. Roscoe managed to shoot me - what is his problem? Breaking free, I found that the mace works very well in close fighting. With all the spiders dead and Bryrgar healing himself up, Roscoe checked the hallway. He got obsessed with the dead-end, certain that a secret door must be there. When I noticed that Bryrgar was long-gone, I had to pick up the halfling by the ankle again to follow.

He’s going to start watching me for that trick. I’ll have to be careful.

Since Roscoe and Sprocket were pretty much eye-to-eye, they kept right on with their talk about “tall people” while I tried to listen for Bryrgar. Roscoe was arguing the benefits of taking some poison glands from the spiders (probably get himself in more trouble that way), when I heard a scuffle up ahead! We ran to help Bryrgar.

He’d found the main spider den - and a very big spider! Roscoe promptly poisoned himself with an arrow (see what I mean?), and got hit by spider webbing. He kept shooting arrows. I ended up fighting with the smaller spiders, while the others shot at the big one (BOOM) and we all got entangled but pulled loose.. and Roscoe poisoned himself, again.. and then the little ones were all dead but the big one came racing across the room!

As it got closer, we saw that the wounds on it were already healing. When I hit it with the new mace, it didn’t heal. I found myself raging into battle, then! I ignored everything, including the “potato fire” from Sprocket that engulfed the thing, and smashed it to bits with the mace. Sprocket is still trying to figure out how to let us know when she’s faking an image.. what a contestant in the Lying Contest she would be! If I were going home any time soon, that is...

Tired and sad, I watched as the others tore open the cocoons in the spider’s web. Everyone in them was dead - we found the other party, and some animals. Searching their stuff, we found armor, torches (I took them), packs, and a silver rod which I pray is for the lich’s lair! The cleric - Giles? - turned out to have a symbol of Helm with him. So, he wasn’t evil after all. I wonder why he did this, then?

We must head back to the village, and soon. I fear that one last passageway in these ruins has caught our curiosity, though. After some more rest, we’ll decide what to do.

Posted by Kate on November 14, 2004, 10:24 | Nosila’s Journal