» Forgotten Realms Calendar / Campaign Timeline     » Amassed Loot     » Monster Roster     » Current Party Stats    

Up a Tree

Sprocket’s Journal

Uktar 17, 1373 DR, outside Thornhold

Someone decided binding Bryrgar as we were released from our shackles would guarantee his cooperation on the lich’s quest. He was the only one that didn’t seem to be compelled to do Nedrezzar’s bidding. I believe that the lich would have put him to work as a zombie though— the ones releasing us from our bonds looked familiar. I am sorry to say I recognized the half-drow child and his brother as they shuffled passed, and then I heard an anguished moan from Nosila as she learned that her husband had, in fact, come back to Pommeville— and was now part of the undead army himself. We tried to reassure her that it wasn’t really him anymore, just negative energy using his physical form, but well, I don’t really know anything about necromancy so for all I know Charzth is in there trying to break free, even though looked pretty vacant. Bryrgar says no one is in there though, and he’d know better. Nosila plans to destroy that zombie when we are back from our quest either way.

Roscoe managed to talk the lich into giving back our gear (including the stuff we liberated from his own tomb) and he even identified the stuff— I’ve been wearing bracers with an armor spell cast into them.

Roscoe, Widget, and I led a sobbing human and an irate dwarf out of the temple and towards Thornhold, the town down the river that we were to fulfill our quest in. I stopped in what was left of the marketplace to get some bullets for my pistol. The journey would be two days on foot or one day by river, so Roscoe insisted we take a boat— which meant we also had to get the dwarf into the boat. As we settled Bryrgar into the dinghy, he was saying some rather unkind things about what he planned to do to Roscoe when he was loose again. Widget hopped down from my backpack and squeezed behind the bound dwarf— so it was pretty obvious the dwarf would be loose before long. I now also know who has been feeding Widget between meals; Widget has always been a good judge of character, regardless of species.

As we floated downstream, I decided to try out the wand I’d found in Arania, but I’ve yet to figure out what it does. We noticed that the farms we were now passing looked much healthier than those nearest Pommeville, and many had at least begun their harvest. Nosila was quite distracted, so I didn’t bother attempting conversation. Roscoe was rowing the boat for all he was worth, as if he could row away from the angry dwarf.

I had to assume that Bryrgar was now loose from his bonds but biding his time, as Widget wandered out from behind him and climbed back in my pack. He seemed pleased and was grinding his little teeth. Uh-oh.

Suddenly, the dwarf made his move, but not being completely reckless while over a body of water, was unable to grab the halfling as he leaped over the side and began to swim to shore. Nosila was still coming to grips with her sudden unwed status, so I grabbed an oar and pulled the boat to the riverbank. We were just outside of Thornhold, but the sun was setting, so this was as good a place to camp as any. Roscoe had made his way along the bank and settled into a tree before Bryrgar reached him, so he was safe— for the time being. I cast an alarm spell around the camp, and let everyone else figure out who was keeping watch on what shift as I fell asleep.

Sometime in the middle of the night, the alarm rang out, and we all scrambled to get up. For a few seconds we didn’t see anything, and then this huge insect-like creature burrowed up through the ground in the middle of our camp! It bit into Nosila and began to pull her back underground. Bryrgar leaped in after her, though whether he was planning to heal her or beat up the ankheg wasn’t clear. I grabbed my pack (and Widget) and jumped into the gaping hole in the ground after them while Roscoe climbed down from the tree.

It was a lot darker down there! I had to cast an illusion of light to see by— after which I took a shot at the big bug-like monster. No luck! I tried the wand a few times, as well as various weapons, and just couldn’t hit the thing (I know I was aiming in the right direction though, as I managed to hit Bryrgar with a sling bullet). Roscoe was now down beside me, but the ankheg was dragging our companions backwards almost faster than we could move forwards. We had to do a full run to catch up, during which time I wondered briefly what could possibly scare off such a creature. Nosila had almost managed to get away once and Bryrgar cast some spell that seemed to irritate the thing; we were hosed down with acid for their efforts, before Nosila was grabbed again.

Finally the rage Chultean barbarians are best known for kicked in, which may have helped her break free (it was so hard to see what all was going on, even now that we were closer to the melee). That was the exact moment I figured out what would scare the thing off, and I cast a rather realistic-looking purple worm, complete with ominous sounds. I yelled to my friends that I was pulling a purple worm out of my backpack, hoping they wouldn’t waste their efforts attacking it. Bryrgar and Roscoe didn’t make the connection, and thankfully, neither did the ankheg, which took off quite quickly. As promised, I’d made part of the illusory creature look less than plausible, but they didn’t see the little banner on its tail until the entire image had passed. They scrambled back to the hole as I maintained the worm illusion a few seconds longer, and then hoisted me up. Bryrgar patched us up as best as he was able. Thankfully Widget hadn’t been splashed by acid.

We took a cue from Roscoe and decided to finish our rest in the tree— with the boat.

Posted by Kristin on January 23, 2005, 23:55 | Sprocket’s Journal