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This place is strange

Nosila’s Journal

We waited in the tavern for the Lord’s friends. I drank ale with Sprocket’s rat while she studied a new spell. She said it would help her identify magical things, but when we asked Bryrgar to come down from the Lord’s keep with the silver rod, she found that its magic was too powerful. She identified another wand, instead, and we found out how the chairs and wardrobe attacked us before - it “animates objects”. Bryrgar headed back to the keep, and the rest of us drank ale until we passed out.

The surprising part was where we woke up! Somehow, the tavern had vanished, and our possessions with it! Sprocket, her rat, and I were chained to a cold stone wall, but poor Roscoe was chained to a black stone altar in the middle of the room. When he struggled to get free, the inside of the altar began to glow with a dull red light. We shouted at him to stop! And he did, but we were unable to free ourselves or him, and waited a long time for someone to arrive.

When they did, it was horrifying! Four black-robed figures entered the room, ignored all of us, and began to chant around the altar while poking at Roscoe to make him bleed even more. I think the halfling went a little mad; I can’t blame him! As the door opened, and a fifth figure entered, I heard Sprocket start to mutter under her breath. Some greenish mist began to form over the altar - three of the figures got excited and chanted louder, but the fourth turned to give Sprocket a stare!

At this point, the last figure by the doorway raised its arms and suddenly - several dogs appeared out of nowhere and attacked the chanters at the altar! Sprocket made her figure “dive” from over Roscoe and into one of the chanters, and I was stuck chained to a wall as Bryrgar (for it was he) and his dogs saved us all. Both he and Roscoe were a mess by the time the survivors were chained to the wall in our place, but they got all kinds of the real story... which sent us all up the stairs to kill the “old woman” in the farmhouse.

We managed to drive the fiend off, but not kill her, and I am grieved to say that Bryrgar did not survive the battle. He died valiantly!

We stood in the farmhouse, aware that half the town was not under their own control, and the geas unfulfilled. So, what did we do? Started to loot the house! We didn’t get far before #1: a very injured halfling woke up, thank Ubtao! #2: an elf burst through the door, swords drawn, threatening us all after hearing quite a story from the “old woman” fleeing the farmhouse. We tried to explain, but Roscoe kept insulting the elf, and finally he and Sprocket took the elf down to the altar room to “prove” our side of the story. I headed out to the barn for a shovel, and went to dig a grave for our friend.

I had not dug very far when I heard a rumble! “WHAT did they do now?” was all I thought, before a *boom* from underground sent me racing for the now-shaking barn. I pulled out my rope and got ready to throw it to my friends, for I could see the whole building was sinking into the ground. I got to the barn doors in time to get out of the way of the gnome, the elf, and two mules running for safety. No Roscoe?! I had no time to ask, for the whole farm was sinking into a pit! We reached the safety of a hill nearby...

The whole farm was now a pit of magma! I felt terrible: no bodies of our friends to bury, no bishop’s rod to help us finish the fiend off! “Maiyr” the elf now believes our story, but was it worth that Roscoe getting himself killed? Meanwhile, Sprocket and I went off to hide until nightfall, and the elf stayed at the main road to gauge the locals’ reaction to the evil fiend’s apparent demise. We went to sleep in a tree, and woke at nightfall by tumbling out (Sprocket landed on me).

When we got back to the magma lake, Maiyr had found a new friend. He’s a human named Darvin. Darvin was interested enough in our story to offer to join up for a while (I don’t know why he thinks we have any opportunity for treasure, but maybe he just likes doing good deeds now and then). We found out that the Lord arrived at the head of some troops, but seemed OK, just “normal” worried about the people who lived here. The “old woman” was last seen heading north, and it seemed the best idea to follow her immediately.

(I guess magma pools aren’t unusual around here. No one seemed surprised by its sudden appearance, while to me, it was the strangest part!)

North we went, with Widget out and sniffing for any trace of the “old woman“‘s scent. Darvin was rather doubtful of this method of tracking, so Sprocket told many lies to reassure him. Suddenly, slingstones hit us all from the darkness of the trees! I don’t know why we weren’t being more careful, except that it had been a veryy rough day. We lost two friends so fast! Still, we were being attacked from all sides, and I couldn’t see a thing! Happily, Darvin put his lantern down next to Sprocket when he and Maiyr ran to one side, so I snatched it up and ran toward the other.

I found kobolds! Sprocket (I hope) created an ankeg to attack them, while I raged through several kobolds until the rest of them ran away. Rejoining the party around Darvin’s horse, I found out that he leeft the lantern by Sprocket in the hopes that she’d hold it up to provide him with light to fight by - so he wasn’t happy that I ran off with it! Thankfully, no one was killed by the mistake. We continued our walking until morning, and the end of the woods.

Wide plains rolled away before us. We couldn’t see anything moving, but we hoped for the best and continued northward. We could feel the rumble of the bison long before we saw a huge herd stampeding, but luckily it didn’t come our way. Amazing! A little while after that, we caught sight of two humans skinning a bison carcass. Maiyr snuck up on them, startling them, but managed not to get skewered. He quizzed them about the “old woman”, and Sprocket told some lies, and we found out that she was seen heading for some old ruins. We thanked them, and followed their directions to - Barak’s Tomb.

Posted by Kate on February 20, 2005, 09:30 | Nosila’s Journal