Nosila's Journal
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Nosila’s Bio

Nosila and Charzth, image (c) Kristin Johnson

My name is Nosila. I am the eldest daughter of the chief of our small tribe, deep in the jungles of Chult. I was raised with love and care, well able to protect myself in the wilderness, but my first trip out to hunt alone changed my life.

I spent part of the day alone and felt quite proud of myself, but a little frustrated with my prey. After tracking a small forest deer for the better part of the morning, I found myself racing headlong down a trail when one false step cracked a branch and set it running before I could take a shot!

Looking back, I am glad that the only creature I came across was another human. The jungles of Chult are full of hidden dangers! With barely a word, he joined me in the chase, and we spent the rest of the day bringing the deer to bay.

Of course, I should have paid more attention to where I was hunting. My tribe has been arguing with a neighboring group for years over the best hunting grounds between us. By the time I realized Charzth was “one of them”, I already knew that I liked him. A lot.

Sadly, I returned home. I tried to forget Charzth. I couldn’t. I tried to talk to my father about it. He was very unhappy with me. I wondered what was happening in Charzth’s tribe. As time went by, I decided that he had forgotten me.

Instead, he and his friends stole into our village one night and kidnapped me.

I certainly didn’t fight very hard, I know! Still, after we’d lost our pursuers and sat down to talk, we realized that we couldn’t go home. Staying with either tribe would just cause more trouble. So, we decided to leave Chult for a while. We can travel the world a little and let things settle down.

We even have my shaman’s blessings. As we sat and talked, he came silently into the circle. He seems to think that our marriage will help restore peace between the tribes, so he wed us right there. He plans to quietly work on reconciliation while we’re gone. I wish him well!

Character sheet: Nosila [Human Barbarian mate of Charzth]

Posted by Kate on September 10, 2004, 17:04

Friends and Foes

We travelled through the jungle and to the coastline, then followed it eastward and northward, seeing many new people and places as we went. It has been wonderful, learning about the wider world, especially with my new husband by my side. And it’s a wide world, indeed, with no jungle canopy close around us.

As one evening fell, we reached a small town near the Lake of Steam (a very strong-smelling body of water). The place seemed to be populated by farmers, although we could see a dark and evil-looking tower rising in the distance. Still, it was not near, and the town had an inn, the Green Griffin. I offered to pay for dinner and a room, so Charzth and I settled down in the common room to watch new people.

The place was mostly full of farmers, relaxing after a long day’s work. There were some other races, too - all of them shorter than us! I pointed to the halfling, standing in his chair to reach his plate(s), and the dwarf at the bar, and the gnome with the funny-colored hair. Charzth decided to flip potatoes off his kukri at the poor gnome, who luckily didn’t seem to mind too much.

Suddenly, a giant potato appeared behind our chairs! I boggled at it a moment, then gave it a cautious poke. Finding that it was both real, and not attacking us, I happily carved off a slice for my plate. Charzth followed suit. The potato, however, disappeared when the gnome arrived in front of our table. I was very disappointed to see that my plate was empty, too! Charzth, the gnome, and I argued about the disappearance of the critter until a new plate of fried potatoes was served at our table, with “compliments from the halfling” across the room. Potatoes were soon flying over to the halfling in thanks.

The new potatoes, however tasty, had a new twist. Now they screamed when we ate them. The gnome, who was still at our table, seemed disturbed that this didn’t stop us from eating. I explained to her that a lot of the food at home screams, which disturbed her more (though she did stop talking to us like we were children!).

At this point, the door opened, and a female half-elf entered the room, heading right for the bar. She sat next to the dwarf (who had been studiously ignoring the rest of the room in favor of his drink), and they had a quiet chat. Realizing she was wearing some kind of uniform, I quickly stopped Charzth from flinging dinner at her. Instead, we headed upstairs, to a bed-room. I was a little disappointed to find that the window was very small. I’m amazed at the stars we can see at night, now! In Chult, you had to climb for a long time to see them, and even then, they were not so clear. And you never knew what might come flying along to pick you out of the treetop for dinner.

It seemed like we’d hardly gone to sleep, when I woke to the sound of fighting in the hallway. Leaping out of bed and grabbing my kukri (always close at hand), I kicked the door open to see what was the matter. A rotting, smelly undead reached out towards me even as I attacked! I could hear Charzth waking up as I fought the thing, while hearing more than seeing, that more were fighting down the hall.

Charzth charged into the undead, grappling with it and bouncing it off the wall, while a loud *BOOM* filled the hallway! I stabbed the undead with my kukri once more, and Charzth used the now-limp carcass to pummel his way down the hall. I could see the dwarf and the gnome, and more undead, especially the one my husband fought at the end of the hall. Arrows flew from under the bed in that room, hitting both the undead and Charzth. He didn’t seem to notice.. much.

I was soon battling another creature, and I was glad to see that the dwarf seemed to be a cleric. He waved a holy symbol at the things, and some of them turned and shuffled down the stairs, away from the fight. This gave us room to finish off the ones still in the hall. We were soon charging into the streets! Charzth, at this point, was berserk with rage. He was pummelling the things into the ground and throwing them as weapons. The dwarf and I helped, but then the town guard appeared, shouting for everyone to retreat to the town shrine for safety.

I realized that the place was full of zombies, chasing living folk through the town. While they ran for the shrine, the dwarf and Charzth ran down the block to fight the largest concentration of zombies, and give everyone else a chance to escape. I was horrified, and proud! Charzth shouted for his gear, especially torches, and I raced back up the stairs to get our things. I staggered back down the steps, dropped everything but our kukris by the door, and raced to help the dwarf and my husband as they fought a pack of undead. Charzth gladly took his weapon but refused to leave the fight, so I stood my ground with them, hoping he’d soon snap out of his rage.

The dwarf kept trying to turn the zombies, but there were too many, now. Arrows flew into the pack from behind (a quick glance showed me the halfling - was he the one under the bed before?), and the rest of the town seemed to have gone on ahead; we could hear the gnome shouting from a distance. Finally, Charzth broke off his fight after killing the zombie attacking me, and all of us ran for safety. We grabbed our gear and staggered for the shrine, my husband barely on his feet. He still thought to throw his flasks of oil into the crowd behind us, and when we made it to the temple, one of the villagers set the mass ablaze. Thank Ubtao!

I collapsed inside the temple for a moment, watching Charzth, a paladin, and others from the town guard defending us on the steps. Someone healed me, which was a relief, and I sat up to pull on my clothes and armor. I got out my short bow and joined the defenders in the doorway, but they’d decided everyone who was going to had already made it to safety, and barricaded us in for the night.

The gnome, Sprocket, asked the townsfolk about any recent unusual events. She seemed to think that there would be clues as to why the local cemetary had disgorged itself on Midsummer Night’s Eve. I heard something about a cleric on pilgrimage, and the tower or wizard outside of town, but I was more interested in introducing ourselves properly to our other fighting companions. The dwarf was Bryrgar, and the halfling, Roscoe. He’s determined to buy Charzth a drink to apologize for shooting him by mistake. Charzth tried to growl about it, but he wasn’t really mad.

After a few hours, the pounding on the doors stopped. The paladin carefully opened them, and we all saw the remaining undead shuffling back to the graveyard in the early-morning light. The others wanted to get their gear from the inn, and talk about a plan to deal with this abomination, but Charzth wanted to kill more zombies. He headed off after any stragglers, and I headed off after him. We killed a couple before reaching the cemetary, and found a terrible sight!

I was glad Charzth had followed the undead; there were three live human hostages at the cemetary, and a more alert-looking zombie killing them one by one. I shot at it several times, missing, although I think my concentration was a little off from the loud *BOOM* the gnome kept producing. I finally figured out it was a projectile weapon of some kind, when part of the lead zombie was shot off. Still, with Charzth back in a berserk rage and the rest of us wading into the fight, I decided to use my kukri again.

Seeing how outnumbered we were, and that the lead zombie was headed for the last victim, I made a mad dash around the fight and prayed that I had the right idea.. that killing the head zombie would kill or confuse the rest. As I came up behind the thing, a red mist seemed to come over my vision; with a mighty swing, I killed the creature with one blow! As it and the other undead collapsed, we saw a green ball of light streak off to the northeast. As the mist cleared from my sight, I realized that the dwarf was on the other side of the head zombie. No wonder I was able to kill it so quickly!

I gave Charzth a kiss, glad to see that he was all right. I needed a rest, badly, but we agreed that the light had headed for that strange tower, and ought to be checked out. Apparently, Charzth and I have made some new friends!

Posted by Kate on September 18, 2004, 23:39

Green suns are not good

Standing in the ruined cemetary, I realized that, morning or no, I was ready for bed. Leaving Bryrgar to do clerical things for the re-dead, we staggered off to the inn. We got more potatoes, but still no sign of the giant potato-man. I was so tired that I dozed off against Charzth’s shoulder at one point! Still, we eventually made it to bed.

To my surprise, we woke to the sound of horns blowing outside of the inn, in the middle of the night! We grabbed our gear and stumbled into the hallway, again.. at least, this time, there weren’t any extra guests in it. Or, rather, there were no undead ones! As the dwarf and halfling muttered about getting “no full night’s sleep in this town”, I made out a human and child at the end of the hallway.

We all headed downstairs, only to see the villagers running away, and the fighters running toward, the same cemetary as the night before. Truly, I thought we’d solved the problem when I finished off the head zombie and saw that green light leave its body! Still, we knew what we had to do. Under the light of the full moon, we fighters went to back up the town guard while everyone else ran to the temple.

Charzth and I took each end of the line of zombies staggering down the street, hoping to work our way inward. As we attacked, a small blazing sun appeared over our heads! Before I could do more than gape at the thing, I was brought back to reality by the sight of waves of undead coming from the cemetary, visible under the new sun’s rays.

Although I thought I was going to help the town guards, they ended up helping me, when I staggered from the undead’s blows. I caught sight of the new human, using a kukri like ours to fight, and wondered where the child had gone - to the temple, I hoped! Charzth was fighting well, though on the verge of another frenzy. May Ubtao protect him!

The sun turned a sickly green, then, and began to move around. It made me a little sick to my stomach - what new evil might it mean? I could hear Sprocket shouting that waves of undead were still on the way; regrouping sounded like a good idea. Back at the temple, for example! We tried to stand together and make room to back off from the fight; the human ran to find where his child had hidden, and I was hit hard enough to put me on the ground.

Of course, this made me so mad I raged right back up and killed the offending zombie! Bryrgar turned some of the undead away from us, but before I could take advantage of the breathing room - everything went black.

I woke up at the temple, my own Charzth at my side. Apparently, Sprocket and Roscoe had dragged me partway there; bless them, I must have been heavy! We spent another night listening to the thump of the undead, and trying to make small talk. The human is Ronya; his half-drow brother is Zym. Zym’s a very solemn child, but kind of cute. Bryrgar found an old tomb in the graveyard, and feels that it’s worth checking out before trying the wizard’s tower. As long as we’re doing something to stop this evil pattern, I don’t care!

Posted by Kate on September 25, 2004, 22:52

No isn’t just a nickname

Well, after being chased to the temple for a second night, we were all determined to end this problem as soon as possible the next day! Bryrgar told us about a strange crypt he found in the graveyard, while burying the dead frm the first battle; although ancient, it showed signs of being opened from the outside. He’d followed a passage inside until he ran into a symbol to Tiamat - evil!

Sprocket quizzed various villagers, again, and returned with an update to her cleric story; she now thought the cleric who came through town recently, heading for the ruins, was probably evil, too. He may well have caused all this trouble by waking something up over there. We decided to wait for the zombies to leave, save any hostages they might have, then head straight for the ruins during daylight.

This time the return to the graveyard was uneventful - although a little odd to watch everyone return to their own place! Satisfied, we geared up, and walked the short path to the ruins outside of town. To our surprise, whomever had been there recently made no effort to hide their doings! A hole had been dug in the southeast corner inside the walls, and exposed a staircase leading into the earth.

They even left their digging tools at the entrance.. but we could hear no one inside. This seemed like a setup, so we were glad when Roscoe volunteered to check for traps ahead. We grabbed some digging tools in case they would be needed further in, and followed the halfling down the steps.

At the bottom, the way split. To our left we could see an empty room and two doors in the opposite wall. To our right we could see a room full of ancient, broken skeletons, doors to each side, and a set of double doors in the middle of the opposite wall. The doors, in fact, were slightly propped open by a modern helmet! Roscoe carefully headed into the room, checking for more traps, but Bryrgar tromped right across to the door, muttering something about dwarves and underground sense...

Ronya and Zym had taken the time while Roscoe searched to walk around the empty room, and found it full of footprints but nothing else. As Bryrgar made it safely to the double doors, we followed. He looked them over, pointed out another symbol of Tiamat on them, then pushed them aside and walked into the next room. We followed, yet again.

This room was a hall, with an altar at the end. I could make out four black skulls on it. There were several statues in the corners and in niches along the hall. There was a symbol to Tiamat on the floor, which I thought the good cleric would avoid, but he tromped right over it while following the footprints, and got hit by lightning for his troubles!

The rest of us followed, except for Zym, who stayed outside the room. Working our way around the symbol, I heard Sprocket saying that the symbol, one of the statues, and the altar itself glowed with magic. I wondered if the altar held any clues, even an outline in the dust of anything that used to be there, and headed for the base of the steps to see.

This was when I learned that it’s better to listen to your husband when he wants you to be cautious. When he said, “Wait!” I answered, “What?” while continuing to walk to the altar. Although I didn’t touch anything, I must have gotten too close, and four skeletons appeared out of nowhere and attacked me! I saw Charzth charging to my rescue, but multiple blows sent me into darkness.

I woke in the temple for the third time, my husband and the others nearby. Charzth was giving a big donation for their trouble in healing me again! I apologized as best I could - I mean, I’ve never been married before, I’m still learning this stuff! Seeing how worried he was really made me think, though. I don’t want him to worry like that about me.

Finally, we headed back into the sunlight, determined to try the cellar yet again. This time, we stocked up in the village - and Bryrgar made himself a “war-barrow” with a wheelbarrow and shield. It looks like a fun ride! We were soon back at the base of the steps. Everyone turned left this time, so I guessed that they finished off whatever was in the altar room.

Or not! Suddenly, it seemed like everyone had picked a door to open! I heard Roscoe curse and quickly stepped up behind him with my bow in time to shoot one of two undead in the next room. Charzth and I then ran in and attacked! As we finished off our opponents, I could hear high-pitched screaming outside.. something about bugs. We were soon done and looking for our friends; we found them in the room of bones, fighting off giant centipedes from one of the side doors’ rooms.

It was almost funny, except the bugs had a poison of some kind. Bryrgar was looking pretty sick. Finally, they got the door shut, and Sprocket wedged a cloak under the door so more couldn’t get out. Everyone’s still on their feet, this time! But I think we’ll take a breather as we figure out what to do next.

Posted by Kate on October 8, 2004, 21:49

In which I did not fall asleep

While waiting for the cloak to burn out and hopefully smother the centipedes, Ronya took his little brother outside. I guess things were too dangerous for Zym, for we haven’t seen them since! We also took a look inside the final unopened door of the room. Bryrgar quickly figured out that there was little more than an old well in the corner. While the others looked in, I stood in the doorway, listening for zombies. I could see into the altar room just a little, which reminded me - what did they ever find in there after I was nearly killed? When I asked, it turned out that they hadn’t stayed to check. Roscoe took this as a chance to search the room.. very, very carefully. Or so he thought. As I watched from the doorway, he set off the skeletons a second time!

I stepped inside the doors in case he couldn’t outrun the things, earning me a reminder from Charzth about staying out of trouble. I answered that I was standing well away from trouble but couldn’t leave the halfling alone against the things! As we argued, Roscoe was hit a couple of times but managed to get away and run past us out of the room, so I followed. I watched the things come stalking down the length of the hall even as Charzth and Bryrgar picked up the doors and tried to close it up. I really expected them to stay inside the altar room, but found myself in hand-to-hand combat instead!

This time, things went better. Charzth and Bryrgar used a door to crush two of the skeletons, Sprocket and I destroyed one, and Bryrgar finished off the last. They disappeared totally - nothing left! Then Bryrgar turned to me, said a few words, and healed me up a lot! I thanked him, too; much easier than a trip back to town! After our latest experience in that room, we all agreed to leave it alone. I followed Charzth and the others to yet another door - this one, Bryrgar had been unable to open before. With everyone there, the door was soon shattered. Inside was an opulent bedchamber.

Bryrgar and Charzth promptly smashed open the desk, and the dresser. They make quite a pair! I avoided the splinters by checking under the bed. Nothing. So I started flipping sheets and blankets and pillows and the mattress.. aha! I found a book! I gave that to Sprocket, who seems the most bookish of us all. Bryrgar found a little bag and Charzth found some clothes he wouldn’t be caught dead wearing. Poor husband! The bag proved to have some gemstones and parchment - more stuff for the bookish folk. In fact, the parchment seemed to show that one of the statues in the altar room ought to be looked at more closely. Hmmm.

We trooped back to the altar room for a third time. We stood at the edge of the danger zone so no skeletons appeared, while Sprocket and Roscoe stared at one of the statues by the altar and tried to figure out the code. My husband and the dwarf, of course, wanted to just fight it out with the skeletons.. again. Next thing I knew, Bryrgar stepped well over the line, while the rest of us scrambled back! To our surprise, nothing happened. We quickly took the opportunity to step up to the statue and check it out closely.

Charzth was soon holding Roscoe up to the statue’s breastplate. He looked at the plate, at the parchment, at the plate... we were all discussing how to follow the directions.. or was it discussing what would happen if we followed the directions? Finally, I made out that Roscoe wanted someone to push on the statue’s knee. I had no idea why, but at least I understood that direction, so I did. The kneecap promptly disappeared into the statue; I promptly hid behind my husband!

At the same time, the breastplate of the statue slid aside and we could see a hole with something in it. Charzth put Roscoe down and reached in, pulling out a bag full of something that clunked while the halfling jumped and hollered at his feet. Charzth handed the bag to Sprocket, who carefully opened it. She found more gems, some scrolls which she handed right to the dwarf, saying they were for clerics to heal people with, and a plain gold ring. Then she opened the book I’d found, hoping it had some clues to this whole mess!

Over two hundred years ago, the evil head cleric of this place wanted to become a lich. Though the journal ended right before the important ritual began, it did give us a clue; he had a secret room under the altar. Finally, we might meet and maybe destroy the thing that’s been attacking the town! Roscoe went over the altar, quickly finding that the skulls were trapped, and finally figuring out the way to press them down to cause the whole altar to slide aside. It exposed a set of steps into the dark, and a surprise - recent footprints in the dust! Roscoe lit his lantern, and we were off.

There was a chamber at the base of the steps, and doors to a crypt on the other side. There was another Tiamat symbol, and wow! Was that place cold! It got worse the closer you got to the doors, too. Unnatural. While Roscoe checked the big doors for traps, Bryrgar found a couple of smaller ones; he followed one down a hallway, then crash! Charzth walked carefully down to see that the floor had given way, and poor Bryrgar was impaled on a spike in a pit trap. We got Roscoe to slide down a rope and tie it around the dwarf, then pulled them up. I managed to stop his bleeding, but he looked pretty bad.

We really wanted to finish this before sundown and more zombies, so we decided to get poor Brygar some healing and keep going. This time, Charzth and I waited while Sprocket and Roscoe ran to town with some of the gems. They planned to buy some healing potions, but they returned with potions, the town paladin, and the sorcerer! I was pleased we’d have some extra help, because sitting next to that cold evil door really freaked me out. Even with my husband there.

Bryrgar was soon on his feet, ignoring Roscoe’s taunts about not checking for traps. As we walked to the big doors, writing appeared on them. Some bishop in the past had placed a wand and magic so that the lich could not escape. Although he warned not to disturb the place, we could see that the footprints went right inside. Roscoe pulled at the handle and was immediately shocked - so much for checking for traps, I fear! We stepped back while Bryrgar tried one of the new scrolls; the door sizzled, and we hoped the magic had been dispelled. Sure enough, the paladin was soon leading us down a new hallway. It got even colder.

And colder still when we found the real crypt, and sarcophagus, and all lit by an eerie green light! Charzth put me behind him for safety while the paladin noted an empty slot in the floor - the bishop’s wand, missing? We could also see a crystal skull on a shelf across the room. Bryrgar decided he wanted to follow the footprints and headed back upstairs; Charzth and I waited for the paladin, but not for long - the others were screaming about undead even before they got back to the altar!

As we ran to help our friends, a green light streaked over our shoulders from the lich’s room. It disappeared into one of the zombies ahead of us, and we knew that was a bad thing. Thankfully, the zombies were held back by a portcullis that slammed down between them and us - I think Sprocket found the lever, thank Ubtao! We were able to stab at the undead without taking so much hurt. Charzth suddenly turned and ran back to the lich’s room; thinking he’d heard something, I followed. I got to the end of the hall in time to see him smash the crystal skull to pieces. He was cut up by the shards in the ensuing explosion, but I was more worried that he landed on the sarcophagus.

I ran to help him, but he was already chopping at the sarcophagus itself. He hoped that destroying the skull would make it easier to destroy the creature inside the crypt. I helped him push the lid aside even as the same green ball of light flew back into the body of the lich inside... which stood up, holding a mace, dead eyes glowing with an evil light. Without a second thought Charzth and I attacked it together with the pick and shovel in our hands. We were helped by its cloak suddenly wrapping about its head and face - Sprocket? - and the paladin attacking it from behind. Slingstones and arrows flew through the room and others attacked, even as Charzth dropped the thing. Thank Ubtao!

I thought we were done, but I was as wrong as when I destroyed the head zombie in the graveyard. The clerics say the lich’s source of power is hidden in a phylactery, and it won’t be truly destroyed until the phylactery is, too. I don’t want this thing to come back in any form! We must find either the phylactery or the bishop’s wand, but that could be stolen again. Either way, the search is on.

Posted by Kate on October 17, 2004, 09:22

‘Round and ‘Round we go

We stood in the crypt, discussing our options. The sorcerer mentioned that this Giles person, the cleric in the area a week ago, had headed east when he left. As we thought he might have the bishop’s staff to keep the lich in place, following him might be a good idea. Still, we had no idea how long that would take, so a search for the phylactery still seemed a better idea in the short run.

My first thought was to burn the body we had in front of us, to make it take that longer in re-forming to trouble this town. The others didn’t argue, except to tell me to search it first! So, I picked up Roscoe and plunked him in the sarcophagus. He made quick work of the job, dropping one thing after another out of the coffin as it caught his eye. I would have scorched a lot of stuff, so I was glad I had listened this time. Finally, when almost done, he found a secret compartment underneath the body. Bravely telling us to step back, Roscoe opened it. He found a silk pouch, with diamonds, a ring, and a necklace.

The sorcerer eyed the pile, telling us which things had magic on them, and which did not. Sadly, nothing was of a powerful enough “glow” to be the phylactery. I told him he ought to search around for that powerful glow, but the others wanted him to try and figure out what kind of magic was on each item. I left them to it, sprinkling the corpse with a flask of oil that Roscoe was kind enough to give me. Bryrgar loaded one of the big magically burning braziers onto his wheelbarrow, and soon, we were off. I lit the corpse on fire on the way out.

This time, we followed Roscoe as he followed footprints in the dust. We ended up in one of the few places we hadn’t been before, looking down various passages and into doorways when suddenly, we heard a voice! The halfling quickly headed off into the dark, shouting, “Where are you?” .. thank Ubtao, it was one of the villagers, nothing worse. He’d been kidnapped and imprisoned by the undead. I shudder to think what his fate might have been... We got him unchained, healed, and fed, and sent him home.

The next place we checked turned out to be a torture chamber. Sprocket has a strange sense of humor, asking if this is how to make humans - by stretching little people? Ew! We headed off to the hallway of the spiked pit, gnome and halfling arguing about “big people” all the way. Charzth and I could have easily jumped across, but Roscoe found a switch, and he and Bryrgar got the thing to close. I gave it a good stomp to be sure it was safe, and we were all soon across. The tunnel turned, and we found ourselves before an iron door.

We settled in for a wait while Roscoe worked on the two locks. He did finally get them both open. I had an arrow nocked as he opened the door.. to show a well-searched room full of chests. It looked like everything of value was long gone, but Roscoe insisted on searching for a long, long time. My feet were well-rested by the time he discovered another pouch, this time under a flagstone. More coins and an amulet, but still, no phylactery! (I do want the place well-searched for the thing, but the waiting is getting to me, I think! Charzth, too...)

Eventually, we were off to open more doors. Bryrgar was opening them too, to speed things up. Suddenly, a familiar musty smell of death hit us! As the dwarf charged into a roomful of zombies, I saw one waving its arms like a spellcaster in back and let fly with an arrow. Roscoe tried to shoot one, too, but hit my husband instead.. again! Before we had a chance to react to that, however, Bryrgar raised his holy symbol and turned the group of undead to dust before our eyes. Wow! Roscoe took the opportunity to run away, shouting apologies, and I did first aid on Charzth while Bryrgar searched the room. He came out with his wheelbarrow full of coins, two golden Tiamat statues, and a copper bracelet. Wow, again!

By now, we felt like we’d exhausted our options in this place, and that perhaps the mausoleum in the village had more clues. With the pile of silver and gold that Bryrgar had found, we headed outside, back through the village, and into the graveyard. We got a few stares... at the mausoleum, Roscoe offered to check for traps, but Bryrgar had been there before with no trouble, and led the way. We soon found ourselves inside another crypt, staring across a roomful of skeletons in their niches at yet another symbol of Tiamat on a wall.

When Roscoe went to check out the symbol, he found out that this was as far as Bryrgar had walked, before! As soon as he stepped into the room, the skeletons began to move! He ran back, cursing (I think, I didn’t recognize the language but you could guess!), while Bryrgar raised his holy symbol a second time - and reduced another roomful of creatures to dust. This time, Roscoe was able to search in peace. He soon found a door, opened it, and we trooped off down a staircase into the unknown.

This time, the passage had only dead-end halls leading off it, and a chamber at the end, full of sacks of old grain. In a mausolem?! Even stranger was the sight of dead centipedes, and burned bits of cloak on the floor.. of course, we were now on the other side of the door that Ronya and Zym had opened earlier in the day. All that work to find the secret entrance and nothing else! Nothing else, except the surviving centipedes!

I passed my torch to the front, as Roscoe was bitten and poisoned. He got out of the way and Bryrgar used my torch to finish the things off. Opening the door, we found ourselves back by the altar room, to no one’s surprise. I guess we’ll be following Giles, after all, hoping he has the staff so we can get it back and contain the lich once again.

We’ve decided to risk a night’s rest in town before starting out. Roscoe’s foot is numb, but they say it will get better. Sprocket has gone over all the treasure (and we did a little shopping), but she’ll wait until we find a bigger town to find out what the magical items are for.

Ubtao, watch over us! We need all the help we can get!

Posted by Kate on November 7, 2004, 09:12

A lass and A lack!

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

Out of the frying pan...

Bryrgar and I ran up the last corridor, hoping to check it out quickly and go back to the village. Sprocket and Roscoe followed more slowly, Roscoe muttering all the way about the precarious state of his health. Poor guy! Lucky for us all, the last chamber held webs, cocoons, and little else.

We went back upstairs, passing Roscoe’s “secret passage” a second time (hope he forgives us for ignoring it sometime soon), and found that the gnome and bear had waited for our return. This was good news - I’d thought we’d be finding our way out of the forest by ourselves.

Colmarr was surprised to see us so soon. He asked us what had happened, and when we told him, he wasn’t pleased. When he muttered something about having to breed a “new queen spider”, I think we all backed up a step! As he began to weave a spell, we all realized that he had trapped the previous party, and had planned to do the same with us!

Even as I shot my first arrow into the evil gnome, his first spell went off and the undergrowth began to curl up and entangle our feet and legs. We all tried to jump away from the vines and shoot at the gnome at the same time (BOOM from Sprocket!), except for Bryrgar, who stepped between us and the bear. It was looking really unfriendly by then; I’m sure it would have done for Roscoe or Sprocket in one swipe!

As Bryrgar and the bear fought, the gnome kept backing up, casting another spell. I shot him again, but another bear suddenly appeared in front of us! This got Bryrgar and Roscoe talking about how good bear meat tastes. They’re a confident pair! I’d gotten entangled by then, distracted by the second bear. Then it swiped at me. Bears hit hard! I shot the gnome once more, since my arrow was already nocked and I was hoping the bear(s) would go if I killed their master.

Well, the last shot was enough for Colmarr; he ran off into the woods at top speed. Unfortunately, his minions did not. We were left to face two big angry bears, and who knew what reinforcements? When the second bear swiped me with its claws again, I went into a rage. I smashed it with my mace, and Bryrgar finished it off with one charge. The other bear finally ran after its master.

Bryrgar quickly healed some of my wounds, thank Ubtao! I pulled out the healing potion I’d been carrying and drank it while sitting on the ground, recovering my breath. What a situation! Alone in dangerous territory, and with an important mission to boot. How I missed my husband, then!

There was some talk of hiding in the spider’s lair until we had healed some, but I feared what would be waiting for us when we came out again. We decided to put some space bewteen us and the fight, and, having the most experience travelling in forests, I found myself leading the way west, hopefully back to the village. Wolves howled in the distance.

Sometime later, the wolves tracked us down. They crawled through the underbrush, and attacked poor Roscoe first. Soon, we were all fighting for our lives. We had killed several, when one pulled me down. Everything went dark.

I didn’t expect to wake up, but I did! The others had managed to chase the remaining wolves away, then poured a few more healing potions down my throat. Still, I was barely on my feet, and the others looked no better. There was talk of going back to the ruins again, but this time, I remembered the shadows - what would they do if we were actually in their realm when night fell?

Still staggering westward, I watched for a safe spot, if such a thing existed. A thick grove of trees seemed to have possibilities. We settled in, and spent the rest of the day watching (me), praying (Bryrgar), studying (Sprocket), and hiding (Roscoe, who managed to hide inside our hiding place somewhere. He was in bad shape!).

Night fell, and fog rolled in. More shadows appeared, to my dismay, but these also ignored us, thank Ubtao! I found myself wondering where Charzth was, and if he missed me at all. I wonder what he’d think of this adventure? Morning was a long time coming.

We were all much better for a night’s rest, and Bryrgar healed us some more as well. We set off to the west, wondering how much longer our trip would take. That gnome only took a few hours to lead us to the ruins, but the trip back seemed endless. I started to wonder how well my forest skills worked when it wasn’t the jungles of Chult.

Slowly, we realized that we could hear music in the woods ahead. Most of us wanted to ignore and avoid it, but Bryrgar hoped that we could get help. With Roscoe hanging from his armor and screaming “No!”, he walked into a clearing full of dancers, playing pipes and violins. The pipe players were half goat, half boy.. the violin players were something like a cricket centaur. It was eerie, but Bryrgar applauded their talent, and they offered to dance and drink with us!

While Bryrgar took a drink of wine and tried to explain we had a mission to accomplish, Roscoe clung to his armor, screaming, “Evil, evil!” .. I decided that wouldn’t help matters, and picked him up. I missed most of the conversation after that, but the forest folk sounded very rustic - very surprised to hear that there is anything but forest in the world! Thankfully, they let us leave; I took my bearings in the clearing and we headed west for sure.

Another hour went by, and we came to a clearing at the top of a hill. What a beautiful and terrifying sight met our eyes!

The forest stretched away in all directions. Past that, mountains rose. We crossed no mountains to get here! We were between two rivers. We crossed no rivers to get to the ruins! Where are we?

In the distance, a crystal palace rose above the forest. After a little talk, we headed for the palace, hoping it held the answer to our situation.

I miss my husband!

Posted by Kate on November 21, 2004, 08:50

Strange Days

We walked toward the crystal tower, wondering out loud how we ended up in this strange place. Sprocket claimed to be an expert on portals, and felt strongly that she would have noticed us passing through one. Roscoe blamed the fog, and the satyrs; I’m not sure why. As the sun began to set, we realized the tower was still far off and we’d have to camp.

As we settled down, Roscoe pulled out his bow and arrows and walked into the woods, saying he was going hunting. By the time Bryrgar had a fire going, the halfling was back, carrying a rabbit skewered on the shaft of an arrow. He dropped it by the fire and began to walk back into the woods, but when I asked him what he expected us to do with the remains, it turned out that he’d never hunted before, much less cleaned or skinned a kill! I taught him right then, wondering if the mess would turn him off of hunting, but he was quite enthusiastic.

The gnome’s rat familiar was very upset by the death of a small woodland creature, or so she said. The dwarf remarked sourly that the smell of cooking meat would attract all the wrong attention. The halfling and I ate the rabbit, saving our rations for another time. As darkness fell, the forest began to feel distinctly ominous... Bryrgar was right. Sprocket set an alarm spell, which went off almost as soon as the rest of us fell asleep.

I rolled over in my blanket, hearing Sprocket’s voice as she tried to talk soothingly to another rabbit. Instead of responding (and before Roscoe could take a potshot at it), it bared a mouthful of fangs that no rabbit ought to possess, and leapt some twenty feet across the camp at her! It landed within ten feet of me, so I grabbed my kukri from under my head and stabbed it to death. I’d just begun to settle back into my bedroll when several more of the unnatural creatures leapt out of the woods and into battle.

We all ducked when we heard Roscoe say, “Oops!”, but for once no one was hit. I found out quickly that the fanged rabbits bit hard, and switched to the mace to dispatch them more quickly. Sprocket conjured up a wolf (with a potato around its neck), and we finally killed off all the rabbits except one. I managed to capture it, and hold it still. I wanted to get a closer look at such a thing - the rabbit Roscoe shot didn’t have teeth like that! Sprocket tried to talk to it like before, but this rabbit was more interested in trying to chew on me. It got even angrier when Roscoe decided to practice his new skinning skills on the dead ones. He wasn’t very good at it yet, I admit.. Bryrgar then knocked it on the head. When Roscoe wasn’t looking, he slipped it into the pile of dead rabbits. We sat back and waited for it to wake up and give him a good scare - but instead, he skinned it, too! The poor thing never had a chance. I guess that halfling really has no experience with hunting!

Well, after everything else that had happened, it was laugh or cry - and Bryrgar and I fell over laughing. Poor Sprocket took the other view, glaring at all of us in turn. I tried to apologize, but she didn’t believe me. Uncontrollable giggling will do that. I really am sorry... it’s just that this is all so strange. We set watches and spent the rest of the night quietly. If you don’t count Bryrgar stealing all the fanged rabbit skulls, and me setting the skins all around Roscoe’s sleeping bag, that is. (They got a few more arrow holes in them when he woke up screaming). I think I saw Sprocket’s rat sneaking around his stuff, too...

We found the crystal palace by midday. As we got closer, we could see a strange shimmering white wall all around it. There was no movement or sound. Bryrgar tried throwing a stick at the wall, but it bounced off. The rest of us walked around the castle, looking for an entrance, but found nothing. Shouting got no response from inside, nor tapping with an arrowhead. Roscoe finally tapped it with a fingertip - and his whole finger went into the wall! He quickly pulled it out, relieved to find it still attached. Seeing that he was OK, Bryrgar promptly picked the halfling up and threw him through! He landed on the other side, unhurt, but totally nude. All of his gear was in a pile at the base of the wall on our side. Bryrgar collapsed in laughter again, while Roscoe ran back through and redressed. I think I learned how to curse in Halfling.

After some talk, Bryrgar neatly stacked his gear and walked off to explore the castle, leaving us to experiment. He was soon inside, while we discovered that the bishop’s rod would not pass through the wall, nor Sprocket’s spellbook. She didn’t want to leave her book, and I didn’t like to leave the rod unattended. When Bryrgar stuck his head out of the castle door and shouted to come on in, we agreed that only I would go in for now while the other two waited. I hoped Sprocket wouldn’t sic any potato rabbits on Roscoe while we were gone...

The entrance hallway held four doors, and Bryrgar. Opening them, we found a hallway, a fountain, a bedroom.. which Bryrgar walked into while I went to open the fourth door (another passageway). I heard a thump as his door closed, and ran back to see what had happened. Opening the door, I found that the dwarf and the bedroom were gone! Instead, there was yet another empty passage. It was an awful moment. I shut the door, then, on a guess, opened it again. This time, I saw a dining hall, with elven figures at the table. They were very still. I was curious, but kept shutting the door until, thank Ubtao! There was the dwarf again!

He was holding some lacy slip of cloth and telling me I’d look good in it. I answered that he had scared me, and tried to explain the magic of the door and my glimpse of frozen elves. He was soon out in the hall, trying it for himself. He shut and opened the door, to see... the same bedroom he’d just left. I got quite a look from the dwarf, then! But when I grabbed the door and tried, it changed to a hallway, and he believed me. We shouted our news out the door to the other two (who were doing some kind of naked dance through the wall, I just don’t want to know), then set off in search of the elves, if nothing else.

I did put on the clothes Bryrgar had found, but there wasn’t anything for him to wear. We found that all the doors did the same trick, although it didn’t work if you held a door open and tried another in the same room. We got some weapons from the kitchen (and tried waking the elves frozen there, no luck). We found the entrance hall again, and started dropping bits of cloth to mark rooms we’d already seen. We hadn’t made it to the dining hall when we found a study, instead. Books! And all of them magic. There were a bunch of tiny sprites frozen on the desk, too. On a hunch, we took two of them, and opened the door once more.

Jackpot! We’d found the throne room! It was full of elves, and two thrones. We grabbed an older-looking elf who was standing near the throne, and carried him to the door. Bryrgar lit a candle, using the wax to mark rooms, and we opened the door until we found the entrance hall once more. Carrying our three statues, we headed down to the wall.

I handed a sprite to Roscoe. Sure enough, it passed through the wall, came to life in his hand, shrieked and disappeared. We decided that this was normal for a sprite, and carried the other one plus the elf through. My new clothes and the elf’s stayed on the inside, but the elf woke up! Maybe the shrieking of the other sprite startled him, maybe he didn’t know what had happened, but it took a moment to calm him down. I’d be a little startled, too, really..

Roscoe and Sprocket each speak a language the elf, Elzan, understands. He’s an advisor to the elven queen Ovaria. I hope we picked someone who can help us figure out this mystery!

Posted by Kate on November 27, 2004, 20:19

More trouble!

Well, Roscoe was determined to tell the elf everything that had happened to us since we met in the bar, but Sprocket got a few questions in edgewise! This place is called Arania, and it’s not part of our world... there is nothing beyond the mountains around us. The place doesn’t have seasons, so no “years”. Although Elzen and Sprocket were speaking in draconic, he’s never heard of a dragon! Which led to the discovery that he’s never heard of or seen any of our races before, either. No wonder he was boggled at the sight of us!

(Sprocket’s muttering about demi-planes or something)

The barrier isn’t normal - nor the suspended state of the rest of the Court. The door thing is normal; if you know where you want to go, it takes you there. It’s not supposed to be random! The elves here haven’t any enemies that they know of, and had no warning that something was going to happen. The only odd event before, was the arrival of another “stranger to the realm”, who looked like an elf - with glowing red eyes. After that, the queen got sick.

We found out that there are some spellcasters in the palace who might have ideas on breaking the curse, and got ready to go back inside. This time, Bryrgar stayed outside to watch our things, while Sprocket, Roscoe and I were to follow the elf to a spellcaster and I’d carry him or her to the wall. We also, finally, checked to see how many languages we knew between us for the next time we get stuck like this. I found out no one else knew Goblin. Now I know what to swear at people in!

(That halfling is enjoying the clothes issue a little too much, methinks. I gave Sprocket part of the long skirt of my gown to wrap herself in after we went through).

My cheerfulness lasted as long as it took to walk back through the magical wall: Elzen promptly turned back into a statue. We pulled him back through, and he had no memory of it. This was a setback, indeed! Still, we got a pretty good description of the chief mage, Haran, and headed back in without the elf. We quickly found out that the doors remained random; I guess you have to be an elf for that trick to work. Still, with three of us opening doors in the entrance hall, we figured to find him eventually.

Roscoe found the study, first. He and Sprocket just had to search the place! I held the door open so as not to lose track of them, and watched the sunset glow through the walls. I wondered, for the first time in a while, what my husband was doing, wherever he was?

As the last rays of light faded, I saw the translucent walls turn dark, and blood red streaks appeared in them. At the same time, I heard shrieks, and saw the sprites’ skin darkening while their fingernails sharpened into claws. Worse, they were finally moving - launching themselves at Sprocket and Roscoe! As they dashed into the entrance hall, I slammed the door, and we ran for the outside carrying only the random books they’d been looking at when the change occurred.

We were glad to get outside with no trouble, and surprised to see that the barrier wall was gone completely. Bryrgar was standing over the body of the elf - which had changed the same way as the sprites. We grabbed our gear and ran for the forest under the light of a full moon. Behind us, we heard Sprocket’s alarm spell go off, then Bryrgar and Roscoe were slashed by invisible claws! I could hear flapping and swung at it, but got slashed for my trouble.

Sprocket caused a sun to appear, but it didn’t scare the invisible sprite monsters off. We gave up on outrunning them, and stood near each other, swinging wildly into the air whenever we heard the flapping of invisible wings. Eventually, we killed enough of them to make the rest fly away. Sprocket dusted one to see that, yes, it was a strangely altered sprite that had attacked. We could hear awful sounds from the castle and couldn’t imagine what was going on inside. These poor beings! How long has this been going on?

Everyone was talking - the mystery of the normal rabbit killed by day, and the other fanged rabbits attacking by night seems to be solved. This whole realm is cursed, but only the elves are trapped in suspension in their castle. We must help them, somehow. Realizing that a good night’s sleep was unlikely, I told them to wake me for second watch, and settled into my bedroll right where we stood. To my surprise, however, we weren’t attacked for the rest of the night.

In the morning, Bryrgar was able to heal everyone up a lot. I found out that Roscoe planned to wait for the sunrise inside the barrier; I hope we’re not going to lose our only elven speaker and reader to this curse. Sprocket put all her stuff inside the barrier and waited outside, while I left everything of mine outside except my kukri, and myself. We did leave the rod outside, too... and the sun rose. Roscoe promptly turned into a statue. Argh! When Sprocket pulled him out, he didn’t remember it at all. He cheerfully told us that we’d have to tie him up at night “just in case”, and sat down to read one of the purloined elven books!

I guess we’ll be off to search the castle again. We have the day to solve this; Ubtao guide my steps!

Posted by Kate on December 5, 2004, 09:14

A new trouble

The three of us opened three doors in the entrance hall at the same time. I thought hard of the throne room, but still no luck - a random hallway appeared. The other two had random rooms, as well. We kept it up until the armory appeared, at which I held the door while Bryrgar went in and grabbed some weapons and armor. The chain mail was a little tight, but better than just a ragged nightgown!

We went back to opening doors, marking them with scraps of cloth from the gown. I found the library again, with its eight elves, and held the door a second time while the others checked out the books. As they did so, we all heard the distinct sound of a door opening... and closing! Only seven elves were in the room, and we all ran to the door at the other end of the library.

Sadly, this one, too, was set to random. We hit a few empty places, then the kitchen. Since no one had been counting elves before, Bryrgar ran in and knocked everyone in the kitchen over to see if they were all truly frozen in place. Then we were back to the opening and shutting.. we even opened the other door to the library and saw ourselves at the other end! Eeek!

Bryrgar knocked down any elves we found, and Sprocket eyed the book she’d picked up in the hurry. Apparently, it’s for “all curses malevolent”, which sounds quite useful! So, she sat down and paged through it while Bryrgar and I searched the random rooms shown by the magical door. We found the throne room again, and Bryrgar took an unholy joy in barrelling through every elf in the place. I did note that poor Elzan had not reappeared. I felt some grief that we’d had to kill such an elderly and wise elf.

We finally found Haran - in the queen’s bedroom, looking over her sickbed. Sprocket mentioned that she’d found the curse that this place is under, but the page to reverse it is, of course, missing. We went in to grab Haran and head for the entrance hall, when Sprocket cried, “Someone’s casting!” and a chair began to attack Bryrgar. As I boggled, another chair attacked me! The large wardrobe, however, went after poor little Sprocket; when it spit her out after tumbling her inside its doors, I shouted at her to run out and close the door behind her - she could find us again later!

No such luck - she couldn’t get away from the wardrobe’s attacks. Bryrgar was tripped up by the chair attacking him even as he tried to get to the corner Sprocket had pointed to. I grabbed my own attacker and flung it at the wardrobe, but it only bounced off. At least the wardrobe then got tangled up in the chair and fell over! But before I could rejoice in that, I saw that something had stabbed Sprocket in the chest. I shouted to Bryrgar and charged the space over her unmoving body.

Thank Ubtao, I actually struck home against our invisible assailant! As I stood over her, prepared to defend against another attack, I saw the door open to a hallway, then close. Hoping our assailant was gone, I knelt beside the gnome to give her what help I could - and found that her rat familiar had already stopped the bleeding with his own body. What an amazing creature! Bryrgar swung his axe around the space near the door (good thought!), and I discovered that the furniture had not stopped moving (ouch). We smashed at it until it did.

Bryrgar was able to heal Sprocket enough to wake her up. Then, we searched the room for any sign of the loose page. No one said our sad thought out loud - that the invisible assailant probably had it! Giving up, we grabbed Haran and (more gently) the queen, and Sprocket opened the door until we found the entrance hall. For better or for worse, her rat now recognizes the smell of the invisible one, and can hopefully warn us of danger in time!

Finally, the entrance hall appeared. We ran down to the barrier, and Bryrgar and Sprocket went through with Haran while I stayed inside with the queen. It had occurred to me that she’s probably better off inanimate, as she’s sick... and it was kind of funny to watch yet another elf react to his first sight of our strange races. We’re lucky he didn’t blast the lot of us! Roscoe chattered away at him, then Sprocket finished up.

Haran says he can fix the curse - but he needs that missing page! He does think he can get us home afterwards, too, which is a relief. He has a “laboratory”, in which we will find stuff to make the invisible person visible again, and almost walked through the barrier to get it himself when Roscoe forestalled him by a demonstration. I gave the frozen halfling a shove and he fell partway back through, yelling at us while his arms and legs were still frozen on my side. In a fit of fun, I tangled his legs up and pushed him through. It took the poor fellow a few minutes to get himself sorted out and run off yelling that he hates us all... I laughed, but Haran looks worried. Although Sprocket is reassuring him, I think I need to think ahead a bit more!

We have the key to the laboratory, and Sprocket has instructions to the materials he needs. Off we go again!

Posted by Kate on December 12, 2004, 09:17

How Very Odd

Well, we began to open doors in the castle... again. I was looking for a door with a keyhole to appear across the room or down a hallway. I noticed that Bryrgar was removing doors from their hinges... hmmm. We all began to do so (and we also counted any elves we came across, in case the attacker tried to fool us as he had in the library). Sprocket’s rat sniffed away, searching for the attacker as well.

Finally, I found a door with a lock and called to the others. Sure enough, the key fit and we were in Haran’s laboratory. Sprocket quickly found the cabinet described and got the anti-invisibility stuff... and then she and Bryrgar decided to ransack the lab for anything else that might be useful. I thought this a bit wrong, and kept by the door, listening for trouble.

Trouble came from another source, unfortunately. We hadn’t been watching the time! As the walls began to darken and the bloodred streaks appear, my first response was to yank the key out of the door and close us all inside the lab. We soon realized that being trapped inside at daybreak would be worse, and began to pull the door open until we found the entrance hall (lucky for us we did not open it to an occupied room).

Bryrgar did check down one of the doors-off-hinges pathways, following the sound of screams until he saw the throne room’s occupants tearing each other apart. We all then went outside. To my surprise, the sick queen still slept on peacefully, and she had not changed at all! Sadly, Haran and Roscoe had changed, and they had torn each other apart, too.

On a half-formed hope, I pulled their bodies (and the body of Elzan) inside the barrier to wait for morning. Sprocket cast something over her loot from the lab, and Bryrgar tried casting something over the queen, to no avail. Touching her with the bishop’s wand didn’t help, nor did giving her his remove curse potion. Poor lady! Realizing the screams from the castle were dying down, we decided to make another search for the invisible attacker - before he came out here and got us again.

We found two “elves” in the hallway to the throne room, but after killing them, we found that the rest had torn each other apart like Roscoe and Haran. We worked our way to the library, at which point, Sprocket’s rat smelled trouble. Sprocket chucked a cloud of magical dust into the air, which clung to the outline of a humanoid - with bat wings! We all attacked. After a short battle and some lucky shots, we managed to kill the creature. Not only did it have red eyes... it had the missing page to the book of curses. Thank Ubtao! We retired to the outside of the barrier, and waited for morning.

Sprocket studied like mad, telling us that she’d need some more ingredients from the well-searched laboratory, but we decided to wait for daylight. Morning came, and the barrier sprang up... both elves disappeared, and Roscoe was suddenly standing, whole, in the same spot as the previous day! Whew! We ran inside (oops, all the doors were back in place, too), and dragged Haran out into the morning sun.

It turned out that he had no memory of the previous day at all. While Sprocket explained for the third time just who we were and why we were there (plus why she had stuff from his lab and books from the library), I got Roscoe and pushed his head through the barrier. Sure enough, he had no memory of anything since he’d first been frozen by the curse, too. So, I tied his legs into another knot and pushed him all the way through. He untangled himself and ran off shouting that he hated us, and it was just as funny the second time around. Oops... Haran just as worried-looking. I was going to curb those impulses, wasn’t I???

Together, Haran and Sprocket performed the ritual, one on each side of the barrier. There was a blinding flash of light and we were thrown to the ground! When I opened my eyes, everything was in darkness. I quickly reached for a torch and got it lit, startled to find ourselves in a tomb! Alas, it was not so easy - I’d have loved to find ourselves in the lich’s tomb, and quickly slapped the bishop’s rod into place. Still, this place was beautiful, with statues of elven warriors in the corners and a relief of what looked like the elven queen on the lid of the sarcophagus.

Mystified, we checked each other and our gear. Everything from that strange realm had disappeared, except for what we’d taken off the red-eyed creature’s body. Seeing a set of steps, we headed up, and slowly opened the door at the top. All I could see and hear was forest, so we finally stepped outside. Sprocket stared at the ancient tomb we’d just left. If I understand her, we somehow got into a loop of time and freed those elves, even if it was thousands of years ago. This forest is indeed a strange place!

Roscoe climbed a tree, and eventually returned to tell us that he thinks we’re back where we started, but months have passed. We’ll head out west in the morning again, and hope that there’s something left of the town we tried to protect.

I wonder if Charzth has been looking for me?

Posted by Kate on December 19, 2004, 08:19


Let’s see... what do I remember? I’ve had such a horrible shock, everything’s gone wrong!

I remember we got out of the strange otherworldly kingdom, and found ourselves back near the lich-infested village, but several months later than expected. I was wondering what my husband was up to?

We walked into town, noticing that the fields were quiet, and most had crops rotting on the stalk. When we got to the village, we went to the shrine first, only to find it had been dismantled. We then saw that something was being built or rebuilt on the ruined tower hill above the lich’s lair. Well, it had several months to reform, so we shouldn’t be surprised!

Of course, we wondered and feared what had happened in the village itself. We’d been trying the winged creature’s ring of invisibility with no luck, but now, Roscoe set himself to find out the magic words in earnest. I found out that this can be quite painful for the user - boom! But Sprocket figured it out for him, and he ran off to the village. He went invisible for a little while.. then re-appeared!

Bryrgar was all for running down and telling him, but Sprocket and I talked him into waiting, hoping Roscoe would use his quick wits and the ring to return safely. Soon, he did - with tales of zombies, enslaved humans, and gnolls running the show. I felt terrible, even though we couldn’t have helped it; we were trapped on another plane while this went on!

Using one of Sprocket’s spells to be less noticeable, we headed through town ourselves. Unfortunately, Roscoe’s luck ran out and he appeared in front of a bunch of gnolls. Even though he disappeared quickly, the fight was on! We had a short but brutal battle with the guard unit, but managed to finish them all off before attracting notice.

We knew we had to get to the lich’s lair quickly, now! We could run for the building site, or hope that the tunnel from the graveyard was still there. Realizing the tower was swarming with life and unlife, we headed for the tomb. Of course, it got dark before we got there, and not all of the graves were empty! Bryrgar used his holy symbol to turn those zombies away, and opened the crypt.

I learned a few new dwarven curse words when the shadows themselves attacked us inside! Bryrgar was able to turn the things away again, and we all stepped inside, lit a torch, and headed through the secret door and down the tunnel. We reached the end that we remembered came out behind a statue in the upper altar room, and Roscoe peeped out through a crack. He suddenly went invisible...

We heard an attack and ran out to find that the halfling had tried to attack two priests praying at the altar, but the magically appearing skeletons had protected them! Everyone in the room piled into the fight, using everything at hand. Magical spider bites are nasty. My mace was much nicer, but I couldn’t seem to hit anything with it! Finally, we cleared a way to the altar, and descended the secret stairs.

We ran down to the lich’s lair, and were confronted by a crowd of zombies, skeletons, and the lich itself. We began to fight, but the lich cast a spell, and I was frozen in place! It was terrible to watch my companions fighting around me, each falling captive to the same spell, one at a time! Soon, everything went dark.

We woke in darkness, one each to a cell. The lich came and offered us a truce of sorts - it wants to use us as cannon fodder! There is a demon setting up a realm nearby, and the lich doesn’t want competition. It tried to persuade us to kill the demon instead, as the greater evil, but when it saw we wouldn’t agree, it cast yet another spell.

I found myself suddenly willing to give this new mission a shot, and apparently, very bad things will happen to me if I do not!

I wasn’t alone in this sudden conversion, but Bryrgar resisted violently. We talked over how to convince him to help his friends, which was rather an odd conversation - not only were we still chained in our cells, but the lich itself was giving suggestions! Finally, I decided against knocking him out, and asked for rope so we could tie him up and carry him away.

The lich sent a zombie for rope. The zombie was Charzth.

Well, what would anyone do under such circumstances? I went pretty well mad for a bit. I don’t remember much of the next few minutes, except that I swear that I will return to put my husband’s body to rest. And then I will kill that lich, I don’t care how! This is my vow!

I still shudder to think of it. Unclean, awful!

The lich, naturally, ignored all of this, gave Sprocket directions to its foe, and sent us on our way. Somewhere along the line, we got all of our gear back, and someone had tied up Bryrgar and brought him to a shoreline by a river while Sprocket looked for a boat. I didn’t ask questions. I just wept, and glared at a tree so no one would talk to me. Roscoe earned himself a toss onto the angry tied-up dwarf for trying.

Finally, everyone else was ready to go. They talked me out of muttering and punching the tree, and got me into the boat. The dwarf was still tied up... I guess he doesn’t like boats. I watched Sprocket try to use a new wand, and then I watched the riverbanks as we drifted downstream for the rest of the day. There wasn’t much to see, just some farms, but it was better than letting people talk to me.

It was almost the end of the day when Roscoe began to turn the boat for shore. Bryrgar suddenly escaped from his bonds, and attacked the halfing! Or, at least he tried, as Roscoe leapt from the boat and swam ashore to escape the angry dwarf. Bryrgar demanded that Sprocket and I get him ashore, too, and I awoke to my own danger - after all, I was the one to think of tying him up! I followed Roscoe. Eventually, Sprocket and Bryrgar rowed ashore as well, but Roscoe had plenty of time to climb a tree for safety.

We settled in for the night as best we could; Sprocket set her alarm spell, and Bryrgar set up watch beneath Roscoe’s tree. I slept for first watch and hadn’t been awake long for second, when the alarm went off and the ground began to rumble! I was very startled when a big insect of some kind erupted from the ground below, and tried to eat me!

The first bite hurt me very badly. Bryrgar leapt forward, brave dwarf, and healed me right in its jaws! Everyone was fighting the thing, but I couldn’t break free of it, and next thing I knew, it had pulled me underground! Ubtao knows where it was taking me - or to what - but my friends did not desert me. Bryrgar was hanging onto its carapace with one hand and stabbing it repeatedly with the other, even as we descended.

I finally got free of it for a moment, but didn’t get a chance to make use of it, as the thing re-grabbed me right away. Bryrgar healed me again as the tunnel filled with dancing lights and we could see - Sprocket and Roscoe had followed, as well! Ubtao bless them all! After much fighting (and an awful moment when the thing dropped me in order to spit acid on us all), Sprocket created a giant purple worm which scared the creature off. Bryrgar healed everyone up, and we climbed out of the hole.

Roscoe has to share his tree for the rest of the night. Bryrgar made a hammock of sorts out of the boat. I don’t want to go for an underground ride again for a very long time!

At least Bryrgar and Roscoe aren’t fighting, and I’m trying not to think so much about my husband. I know that his soul has passed on and it’s only his body, but it’s only decent to wish to see him buried. And how will I ever go home, now?

Posted by Kate on January 30, 2005, 09:24

Surprise, someone lied!

We left the boat moored in its tree stand, and walked toward the town. Roscoe walked far ahead of us in case Bryrgar made any sudden moves; still a little paranoid! I wasn’t happy about tromping on the ground, but Bryrgar says those things are nighttime creatures. I hoped so!

We walked by farms, and farmers at work. Everything looked very normal - nothing like the area around the lich’s domain! Yet this was supposed to be the realm of an even worse evil? We eventually stopped at one of the farmsteads to ask about the area, and the lord of Thornhold.

Despite Sprocket’s quizzing, the farmers had nothing bad to say of their lord, Tarik. While Bryrgar traded for a little food, we talked about Pommeville (the lich’s town, now), and heard rumors of trouble, but still, no problems around here. Confused, we followed in Roscoe’s footsteps until we reached a hill above the town.

The town was on a river, with a small keep above. Roscoe wandered into town to find things out, while the rest of us rested a little (and Bryrgar ate his lunch). When the halfling returned, we were left as stumped as ever. The lord of this town seemed to be no demon, but a good fighter who defeated evil here a few years ago, and now spends his time going on quests defeating it elsewhere.

We followed Roscoe to the only bar in the place, and got rooms for the night. Then, we went shopping, and information gathering. The shopping went well (I got new armor to replace my chewed equipment), but the information gathering? I think we’re on an impossible quest! There’s no fiend here! What do we do? Besides go back and kill my husband and the lich, that is...

By the time everyone met back at the bar, loaded down with new weapons and magic, Bryrgar was concerned about the lack of holy water in town, and Sprocket had found out that the lord Tarik’s wedding was being held in the spring. In the meantime, adventurers are wanted to go on a quest to Pommeville, and destroy the lich! Bryrgar, being the only one not under a spell, chose to go to the keep and see the lord.

When he got back, he said the lord seems like an OK guy. He didn’t tell him our real trouble, though, so the party got into a discussion of what to do about it. We were still worried that there may be a secret life to this place! We decided to sleep on it. This meant spending the night at the bar. Roscoe thought he might learn more, but ended up very drunk and ranting about conspiracies. Bryrgar went to the shrine in town again, and Sprocket studied while I drank ale with her familiar until it was time to scoop the halfling up and drop him into bed.

In the morning, Sprocket and Roscoe suddenly decided to go and meet with the lord’s fiancee. They thought that perhaps she might hold the key to this mystery. Worse, they almost talked me into going, too! I made it halfway across town before imagining what this would sound like to the lady, and stopped in my tracks. I ended up going off with Bryrgar, instead. He was looking for wedding gift ideas. I thought about my husband...

By the time we got back to the bar, we found out the results of our friends’ escapade. Four guards were looking for me! Bryrgar walked with me as we went to the keep, wondering what would happen now!

Thank Ubtao, the lord does seem to be OK. I would not look at him, in case this curse forced me to attack, but Bryrgar explained everything he could, and Tarik actually listened. He even let the gnome and halfling out of their “safe” cell, so that Bryrgar could check everyone in the keep for signs of evil. Finding none(!), he said that it was OK for us to stay in the tavern while he waits for powerful friends to arrive. They’re coming to help him fight the lich, but one may be able to release us from the curse.

Maybe things will turn out all right, after all!

Posted by Kate on February 6, 2005, 09:26

This place is strange

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

Horse tales

We reached the cairn, and discovered a way in, descending rough-cut steps down to the sarcophagus of a dwarven warrior, guarded by four statues in the corners. As we walked in, Maiyr quickly saw a crack in the opposite wall, and we followed him into the passage (despite him shouting, “Here, Monster Monster!” and getting slashed by an axe-blade trap for his pains).

Despite the bickering between Maiyr and Darvin, we made it safely past the trap and into a larger space with two passages exiting. Or, rather, two larger passages; we noticed several small openings at floor level. I asked Darvin to shine his lantern up one, and saw glowing red eyes rapidly advancing! We had quite a battle with many large and unnatural rats, eventually killing them all (I owe Maiyr a healing potion), and choosing to explore the right-hand passage.

The passage quickly warmed, and led to a shaft with glowing magma at the bottom. We could see an opening about ten feet above the stuff, but decided to check out the other passage before risking our lives in this one. Sprocket set an alarm spell as we passed through the rats’ room a second time, and we headed down the left-hand passage, practicing our language skills on each other. I can’t speak elf. No one else can speak goblin. Eventually, the new passage ended in heat and magma, too - but this time, a stone bridge offered a way over the flowing stuff!

As we walked toward the stone bridge, two blubbery humanoid figures approached from the other side. Maiyr charged at them, then suddenly turned and ran away! I swore at him in goblin as he passed by, then attacked the things on the bridge with Darvin. I expected Sprocket to hang back, but what happened to “Here, Monster Monster”?! The fight on the bridge didn’t go well; first, the things didn’t seem to take as much damage as they should, and second, Darvin suddenly got sick.

One of Sprocket’s spells hit the creature in front of me, and I took advantage of its sudden confusion to throw it over the side into the magma. It didn’t come back, thank Ubtao! Darvin, still throwing up, ran off the bridge, a BOOM from Sprocket to encourage him. I turned my attention to the last creature, grabbing it to throw it over the edge, and slipped on Darvin’s mess.

That was a bad moment! I hit the railing and did not quite fall over the edge; while I regained my balance, Sprocket cast something that caused the creature to slump. I didn’t take any chances, pitching the thing into the magma while Darvin finally stopped throwing up - and Maiyr finally returned. Men! We regrouped, Sprocket cast “light” on Darvin’s helmet so he’d stop worrying about his lantern, and we walked up the passage beyond the bridge.

We reached a chamber full of bones, and a bed in the corner. Empty! But we’d learned that was rarely the true case, so I stayed in the doorway, scanning the ceiling, while the others searched. Maiyr threw a bone at the bed, and I caught a glimpse of the demon-thing appearing just before the whole room went black! There was something sickening about that darkness, too, but we had to keep going... the darkness lifted, but the demon disappeared.

Sprocket’s rat let her know that the thing was still in the chamber - invisible! So I blocked the doorway as best I could, listening, and watching for movement in the bones on the floor. I heard steps behind us in the passage, but when Sprocket reassured me that the creature was still here, I hoped for the best and stayed. Maiyr swung his sword wildly about while Darvin drank another potion - and the creature reappeared and touched the elf!

We all attacked, hoping to get a shot before the thing disappeared yet again. Sprocket blinded it momentarily with a blanket from the bed, and, when it seemed to be too fast for us to hit with our weapons, caused it to slip on the appearance of some banana peels on the floor. We were just able to finish the demon off before she regained her feet. That gnome and her rat saved the day! I wrapped the body and its head in another blanket to take back to the lord’s keep, while the others looted the room.

Finally, we returned to the entrance of the dwarven cairn. I am glad we cleansed it of this evil! We were arguing about whether to stay a night and recover, or head out immediately, when Darvin dropped at our feet. Maiyr, though looking bad, took first watch, while Sprocket was overcome by curiosity and unlocked the chest they’d found in the demon’s room. Poor Sprocket! She was hit by some trap, but did count the treasure before falling asleep.

The next morning, we slung the demon’s body over Darvin’s horse, and Darvin, too. He still hadn’t woken up from his injuries, but at least he was stable! That horse came in handy, as we were able to make it back to where we’d started by nightfall. The lava lake was still steaming and bubbling, and had a new addition: a ghost of our poor halfling, circling the lake and staring in! Showing him the demon’s body had no effect, poor guy!

As we watched the sad sight, I was startled to see a short humanoid creature that seemed to be made of molten lava crawl from the lake and run off. I could have sworn that it looked at me - and giggled! Worried that it was some new disaster, or else some form of our former dwarven friend, I quickly unloaded the horse and told the others I’d be right back. The thing was running, but Darvin’s horse quickly gained on it. I asked it who or what it was - and got another giggle in return!

We followed it up a path and right at a farmhouse; horrified, I shouted Fire! Even as it set the barn ablaze. I felt so helpless! How do you fight a thing that is made of fire, when you have no water at hand? I did shoot at it while it danced before the burning barn, and it charged us. It was way too hot to be near for long, and it burned Darvin’s horse badly, too. That horse is well-trained, indeed, but was quite glad to turn toward the river at that point!

Sadly, the thing did not give chase. It headed for the house, and despite my shouted warnings, it also attacked a farmer, turning him to ash! As it ran into the house, Maiyr and Sprocket arrived. Maiyr went to rally the farmers (who had given up on saving the barn), while Sprocket cast a spell that looked just like a water elemental. While she and Maiyr herded the thing with buckets of water and the “elemental”, I got the horse close to the burning house and shouted at the screaming children to jump!

Thank Ubtao there were only two to catch; my second child barely bade it. I moved away from the house with them on the horse with me, ready to bolt if the thing came our way, but their mother got to us first, and I told them all to run for the river. They disappeared into the night, and the farmers helped Maiyr get a barrel down to the river, while Sprocket kept the thing safely in the house with an imaginary rainfall. Finally, it bolted from the front door, ignored my arrowshot, and got hit by a magic missile from Sprocket.

The thing ran away! But I feared what more it might do, and raced the horse at Sprocket to get her away in case it came back. She quickly cast another magic missile at the thing - and it collapsed! We galloped up to the thing as it puddled into ooze, and Maiyr and the farmers dumped their barrel over the remains to be sure. I felt for the farmers, but we knew we needed to get back to Darvin. Promising to send help, we headed back for the lava lake.

We got to town and headed right for the keep, calling to the guards that it was very important to see the lord despite it being early dawn. Around Maiyr’s sudden cravings for ale, we managed to tell the story and show him the body, and we were all much relieved to know that this evil was gone! We also told him of the battle near the lava lake, both to help the farmers and to warn others of that new danger. Finally, we got Darvin to bed, Maiyr to the tavern, the horse to the stable, and I went to sleep!

Later that day, I woke up and headed to the tavern myself. I had heard that the town was now safe from the demon’s evil influence, but I still got Maiyr to have the first sip of every ale, which he was happy to do! The gnome behind the counter apologized a lot for what had happened, too, and gave us free ale and food (not sure about the food but Sprocket didn’t seem to mind!). Darvin finally showed up, looking a little better, and asked about his poor horse.

I decided to wait him out a little, and every time he asked about the horse, I ordered him an ale. The very drunken elf, and Sprocket with an odd sense of humor, kept telling him bits of what happend to the horse, which only worried him more. He was up to ten mugs in front of him before he gave up and drank one! I did tell him about borrowing his steed, then, and apologized for getting the animal hurt as best I could. Sprocket told stories and the fighters got very drunk. I giggled at them all. I was not drunk!

Next thing I know, we were out in the street, following the drunken elf back to the lava lake to “throw stones at the halfling”... so I whispered to Sprocket to make an illusion of one instead! This was a mistake, although a really funny one. Instead of throwing stones, Maiyr pulled his swords and attacked! We had to keep finding swords because he kept flinging them into the darkness - thank Ubtao no one else was about! He also sliced an ale mug in half - while Darvin was holding it. Sprocket came up with the idea of making the halfling “ghost” run into Maiyr’s body and he did NOT stab himself, whew!

Eventually, Sprocket and Darvin went to bed. I sat up with Maiyr until he sobered up and stopped waiting with drawn swords for the halfling to run back out of him. As the sun came up, we stopped by the stables to put charcoal handprints all over Darvin’s horse (a very patient horse), then went to bed.

Later that morning, I asked if the lord’s friends had arrived. I was told - later today! So I walked out to the burned farmstead, and found no one. Back at the keep, I asked the lord about helping that family, then donated the cost of building a new farm for them. I don’t know what more we could have done, yet feel bad they lost their place! Sprocket had been buying and selling treasure, and made out quite well! I don’t know what to do with so much money, and now we have a special bag to hold items without actually feeling the weight.

Finally, the lord’s friends have arrived. We can leave for the lich’s lair, and destroy it, and put my husband at peace. Ubtao bless our task!

Posted by Kate on March 6, 2005, 09:33

Interrupted Journey

Finally, we started the journey back to the lich’s lair. Our new companions included a handful of men-at-arms, plus the lord’s friends and his sorcerer fiancee. There was a quiet ranger, a chatty bard, a grim cleric, and a curious sorcerer - a dwarven one! She and Sprocket chatted a lot. Maiyr and I decorated our horses with charcoal handprints to match Darvin’s, and we were off.

We had traveled about four hours when the ranger returned from a scouting trip with bad news: a force of undead and gnolls approaching, some forty of them! While the rest of the group got ready in a double line across the road, Darvin and I rode around to the side, planning to attack from behind. Partway there, we decided to attack from the side to avoid being struck by arrows coming straight through - but when we saw the attackers for ourselves, we headed back to our friends.

Along with some forty undead and gnolls, there were skeletons, dire rats, and an undead ogre! Darvin and I put aside our attempt at battlefield strategy, warned the others of the extra dangers, then settled into positions with the group. I ended up under a tree at one end of the line, watching as Sprocket made the image of a deep chasm appear across the road. This slowed the things down, and caused them to split into two groups to come “around” and attack. I shot a few arrows, but was quickly surrounded.

The fighting was long and hard. I remember fireballs doing a lot of damage to the enemy, and the cleric turning many to dust. I remember the bard’s singing was very inspiring, and I remember that several of the men-at-arms came to my aid. I saw my friends fighting to help Maiyr, who was down, and I remember feeling very weak and wounded by the time the men-at-arms and I got to the last of the attackers on our side of the “chasm”... and then the rage hit.

I easily killed the last gnoll, and ran lightly for the other half of the battle. Everything was dead except for the ogre, which had begun to shamble away from the power of the cleric. I chased it down and killed it very thoroughly! When my head cleared, I saw that Darvin had helped, too. I don’t know how I was on my feet by then! But every attacker was dead and the lord’s keep was safe. We buried our dead and burned the rest. Maiyr survived, thank Ubtao!

None of the undead were my husband. My task is yet unfulfilled.

Posted by Kate on March 13, 2005, 08:45

Maiyr is evil

We took the road to Pommeville - naturally, arriving near sundown. The outlying farms now looked to be utterly abandoned. The town itself was quiet, and we could see a half-built temple over the old entrance to the lich’s lair, plus a new-built tower. After a little talk, we lit torches and Darvin’s lantern, and headed for the lair’s front door.

It was a little odd to follow the familiar path, now rebuilt but still abandoned. We stood in the hall outside the double doors (no longer propped open by another party’s extra helmet), and wondered if the secret entrance into the temple chamber was still there. We checked the little side room, no giant centipedes this time, and found the secret door!

Sprocket looked it over, then we entered. I cracked the door behind the statue in the temple room, looking toward where the priests would be praying.. and saw several humanoid figures shambling at us, instead! We quickly stepped back, shut the door, and went back to the antechamber to tell the others that we were expected, after all.

Quickly describing the altar room to the lord and his company (the shock-causing symbol of Tiamat on the floor, especially), we got ready to pull the main double doors open and attack. Even though I was certain that the doors would shock, too (the symbols on them, perhaps?), I risked it, to get the party started. *ZAP* and I was behind the open door, watching the others shoot bullets and arrows and spells into the undead! None were my husband.

We explained about the skeletons which would magically appear to protect the altar when we stepped too close, and I figured that it would be a quick battle, like the one at the doors to the temple, but Sprocket decided to try to fool the altar by making symbols of Tiamat for everyone to carry. I held mine and watched as the cleric of Helm utterly refused to touch such a thing, despite Sprocket’s arguments. Realizing neither would budge, I stepped over the line, proving that the faked symbols didn’t matter to the skeletons (and forcing everyone to come to my aid, oops!).

Looking back, I begin to wonder if I was being possessed by Rocsoe’s mentality, myself!

Once we had the skeletons dispatched for the third or fourth time, we eyed the altar, trying to remember the halfling’s method of pressing down skulls to expose the stairs to the lich’s lair. Finally, Darvin used his sword (furthest reach) to give it a try, and soon the stairs were exposed. We then got into a discussion about who should walk down first. I don’t know if it was the quiet eye-rolling from the lord’s friends, or the realization that Sprocket and I were the only two to know the place and she shouldn’t go first, but I took Darvin’s lantern and headed down the steps.

Guess I’ve gotten used to him shoving his stuff at us, or else not being in a position to complain when we borrowed it. This time, I got about two steps down when he barrelled into me, hollering at the top of his lungs! We tumbled down the steps, into the unknown, breaking the lantern and setting ourselves on fire. When we hit the bottom, of course, we were attacked! A vial thrown down the steps smashed at my feet but didn’t stop the zombies from coming at me.. or Darvin from continuing to yell at me.

I was soon too busy fighting (and still burning) to listen to him. The others got there quickly and joined the fight; Sprocket first tried to put me out using water, then switched to some sweet and sticky cream. It worked, but I was rather grossed out. I needed a bath! At least she made the cream disappear after Maiyr dropped the last zombie. I quickly drank both healing potions the lord had supplied, and felt much better!

To my amazement (and more eye-rolling from the lord’s party), Darvin decided to yell at me some more. Over a lantern. What was he thinking? I hate to admit it, but I lost my temper a little. I threw the first punch. I thought he’d take the hint, but I ended up having to knock him out. I wasn’t up for hearing him rattle on about who caused what, when my husband - or the lich - could appear at any time! Even the bard was being quiet or else singing to inspire us!

Maiyr tied Darvin up and took him back to the top of the stairs, while the cleric opened the next set of doors - and suddenly screamed in pain! The lord pulled him away as four shadowy figues ghosted down the hall at us! I smashed a bottle of the grave’s bane at the feet of the things, not remembering that they could ghost through the walls, too, which they did! Sprocket made a bright light appear, while the dwarven sorcerer attacked with magic missiles. The bard sang, and I stepped up with my magic mace and attacked one, too. Amazingly, we did destroy them, though both Maiyr and the cleric were weakened.

This time, Maiyr didn’t wait to see what argument might ensue. He drank a potion, then ran very fast into the next room. I raced after him, fearing the worst, but the lich’s room was empty and so was its sarcophagus (he kicked the top off to check). As the others came in, Sprocket used a spell to carefully lift a rolled-up scroll without touching it, then open it to read - and a burst of magic filled the whole temple.

I found myself in a rough-cut stone passage, next to an unconscious Darvin, Sprocket and her rat, and Maiyr. The others were gone, I wonder where? The place was almost dark, but for a faint glow from one end of the tunnel. Maiyr announced that, before we went anywhere, he was going to kill Darvin to prevent any more trouble. I thought he was kidding, until I caught the gleam of his dagger!

I stood over Darvin, wishing I hadn’t pummelled him quiet after all! Maiyr came at us and I fought back. To my very great grief, I had been injured already in the fighting, and quickly hit the floor. I saw Sprocket pressed against the wall, eyes wide, and then darkness.

I woke up to the sight of Darvin dead and stripped of useful belongings, and Maiyr already heading down the tunnel. I don’t know what to say; we need each other to get out of here... but Maiyr is evil.

Posted by Kate on March 20, 2005, 09:18

What Ghosts Do and Don’t

As I stood in the stone passage, wondering what to do (and if there is any possible explanation of Mayir’s actions that could excuse them), a ghostly Roscoe stepped out of a wall next to the party. I gave Sprocket a startled look, wondering why she thought this would help - but she was looking as surprised as myself! The ghost actually seemed aware of us, this time, and it spoke to us, which is more than her other creations have done before. We quickly figured out that it really was the ghost from the lava lake, somehow released from its captivity (by the breaking of the geas?), and it had taken some time to track us down. Roscoe has no idea what’s been going on since his death, but happily flew - flew! - off down the passage when Mayir suggested he check the place out for us.

My brain hurts.

Between Roscoe’s reports and our own observations, we eventually decided we were on an island in a sulfurous body of water - probably the Lake of Steam. The island is a crater, filled inside with forests; the other end of the tunnel opens on a cliff face, dropping straight down to the water. The inside opening is easier to navigate, but our first look out of it showed moonlight, and the sounds of a hunting cat and its prey. We decided to stay inside the cave entrance for a time; I wanted to start building a boat or a raft the next morning, but Roscoe came back from another flight around the island. First, he told us about everything he’d seen; giant spiders, goblin totem poles, and a big green dragon. We need to be very careful, here! Next, he showed off some of the things he can do now he’s dead (besides go invisible and fly). He suddenly took on the hideous appearance of his death from the exploding altar and lava lake!

This caused actual harm to Mayir and Sprocket. Now we had to wait several more days to heal up.

After making many promises to never do that without warning again, Roscoe flew off to let us rest. Over the next few days, I guarded Sprocket on several journeys into the nearby forest to search for portals, which she says will be a faster way out of here than a boat. Roscoe found out that he can possess living creatures, and helped out by causing birds and such to come to the cave to provide us with food. This was a good thing, as we had only a few days’ rations between us. Roscoe also tried to posess a goblin for us to ask questions of... and somehow brought back a troll with it! Despite my shouts to run to the cave, the goblin ran back into the woods when Roscoe released it; the troll charged at us instead of following it, too.

Roscoe found out that his “scary face” has no effect on trolls. Nor can he possess them.

Thankfully, the troll was fooled by Sprocket’s images of flames (I even felt heat!), and we all did damage with torches and other weapons. At one point, the troll stunned me and was carrying me off, when Mayir tripped it up. How can he be evil when he does such selfless things sometimes? After some more fighting (I was in a rage by that point), the troll was weakened to the point that Roscoe was able to kill it - I’m not sure how, but he touched it and it fell. Mayir quickly burned the thing, and gave me a healing drink! We only got an hour’s rest before Roscoe flew into the cave to tell us that one, magic missiles can hurt him, and two, a bunch of goblins were headed our way. We stationed ourselves at the cave’s entrance and waited for the worst.

After an hour or so, Roscoe wandered off to check on things and didn’t return. I guess he got bored with us?

Ten days later, we were finally healed up, and to our surprise, the ghost returned! He didn’t say much about where he’d been this time, but we were all glad to be off exploring the island. (I do wonder what happened to the others; did the lich ever return? Do they know what happened to us? Is my husband still a zombie?). We headed toward the goblin village, hoping to find a sentry to quiz, when Roscoe mentioned seeing the dead body of a half-orc in the woods. Curious, we searched that first. Sprocket quickly found a scroll with a map of the island, with some interesting markings around some ruins, and despite warnings of beholders, we decided to check them out.

Elves do not like stepping in beholder dung. Neither would I!

Luckily, we saw no beholders in the flesh, though we did find a stone petrified mage, poor fellow! The ruins were overgrown, but we did find a staircase belowground that was clear. Sprocket put a “light” spell on my helmet, and we explored the halls and rooms, finding little but bones and a well which the others covered over. One of the skulls had four holes in it, which is apparently a very bad thing to find, but I didn’t ask - either we’ll meet the culprit or we won’t! Following Sprocket’s map, Mayir stared hard at the walls until he discovered a “secret” door. He opened it and narrowly missed falling into a pit trap! I tossed Sprocket across and jumped over the hole, while Roscoe flew ahead down the new passage to explore for us.

Ghosts apparently can’t tell when suits of armor are just suits of armor. We made quite a clatter killing them for him!

As we finished smashing the armor, Roscoe floated through the closed door - and quickly came back out to tell us that there was a hall with statues and a beholder on the other side! He went back in to lure the thing into our room, but before I could pull the door open, it burst into flames! We readied ourselves for a fight, but the beholder never came into our room. Instead, the door burned through and we could see flashes of light fron its ray attacks. Roscoe hollered for help, then disappeared. Mayir ran into the room, I followed, and Sprocket cast magic missiles at the thing from the doorway. Unfortunately, the beholder was able to stun Sprocket and me; fortunately, Mayir was able to chase it off.

Roscoe seems to have taken off, again. He can’t be bored, I didn’t see any stone statues of him, what did that thing do?

We explored more doors and passages, eventually finding a triangle on the floor of one. Mayir did his find-the-secret-door trick again, and this time there wasn’t a pit trap. Instead, there was a chamber with a book on a pedestal, protected by runes glowing blue, and two columns topped by spheres with red mist inside. There were chests and other stuff all around the edges of the room, too, but we didn’t get a close look; when Mayir walked in, the spheres broke open and the mists attacked us with many sharp-toothed mouths! Mayir tried to get inside the circle of runes but was prevented by a magical brick wall, and then Sprocket figured out that the mists were somehow eating magic - especially the magic in our gear. We ran outside and shut the door.

I wonder what to do next?

Posted by Kate on April 13, 2005, 00:29

A widow for real

Remembering that the first time I ran into the room, the clouds had not attacked me, we tried an experiment. I took off all my magical stuff, and stepped inside again. The clouds immediately detached themselves from the objects at the other end of the room, floated up, and - began to chew on me with many tiny teeth. So much for that idea! Slightly sickened, I stepped back outside, closed the door, and listened to more discussion. Finally, we headed further down the hall, hoping that somewhere else in the maze of rooms we could find a way to defeat the creatures.

When we found another door and could not get it to open, my hopes rose. Mayir eventually went after it with his swords, so imagine my disappointment to find only an old storage room for the effort! He was pleased with all the new firewood to fight the creatures with, at least, and began to open the other bags and barrels to find what they contained. Moldy grain, wine long turned to vinegar, and... salt? Barrels of it! After some talk, we thought, why not? And I walked off to the secret doorway with a handful of salt while the others finished checking the storeroom.

The clouds headed my way as soon as I opened the door, but - thank Ubtao! The first one recoiled from the thrown salt! Before I could shut the door and tell the others of my find, however, the cloud that hadn’t recoiled managed to get into the hallway with me. It kept right on biting, too. My only option was to run down the hall, shouting for more salt, while it attacked! I led it right to the storeroom, where we quickly found out that thrown handfuls only slowed it down temporarily, and that Sprocket was still its favorite target. We were all trying to get covered with vinegar, then salt, then attack, all the while being bitten.

Sprocket, poor gnome, was covered with so many bites that she passed out when I grabbed her and rolled her in an open salt barrel to get the thing away from her! Mayir, on the other hand, had the brilliant idea to dip his swords in the vinegar, and then the salt, and attack the cloud that way. It didn’t last long after that. We woke Sprocket, covered ourselves and our weapons with salt, and filled Mayir’s shield with the stuff, then headed back down the hall to the secret room. I’d like to say that we had a long and heroic battle, but the shield’s worth of salt I threw at the other cloud dispersed it immediately. Thank Ubtao!

Sprocket cast a spell that cleaned all the salt off us, and Mayir opened the chests that the clouds had been eating at. He found much gold and silver, plus stone vials and weapons, and we got a good look at the suits of armor. Even with their magic eaten away, they were of great quality, so I happily switched armor and tried out the longsword. I also picked up a spear, just in case the beholder reappeared. Sprocket walked over to the circle of runes, and - stepped right inside! She returned with the book, saying it was a very powerful book of spells. We were all pleased.

Finally, we headed back outside, returning to our discussion of how to get off the island. We were talking about the stone spellcaster in the clearing when we realized that we were not alone! The lich, after all this time, and four zombies, one of whom was my husband, Charzth. My poor husband! We realized we’d been used to get the spellbook for the lich, who seemed to think we’d be easy pickings. I think we surprised it! My first response was to throw the spear, and I hit! Before the lich could respond, Sprocket cast a fireball - a real fireball! - and this destroyed all four of the zombies. My husband rests in peace, and I owe the gnome a debt of gratitude. I told her so, too.

The lich pulled the spear out of its body and threw it back, hitting me. I gave it one more try, but missed, and pulled out my new longsword. Mayir sliced into it with his swords, but it preferred to cast spells at Sprocket - she got all the grief, that day! I missed my swing even as a black, greasy, sickening darkness descended on us all. When it lifted, I saw Mayir getting in lots of shots behind the lich, while I attacked from the front. Sprocket cast magic missiles from a safer distance behind me, but when the lich paralyzed me, she was forced to cast two more fireballs on us all before it dropped. She apologized a lot, but I knew she had to do it!

I was still paralyzed, unfortunately, and Sprocket had no idea how to fix it. I feared I’d end up like the stone statue, only worse! Hoping that cremating it would give us more time to find the phylactery before the lich reformed... again... she and Mayir stripped the body. To our surprise, they found a stitched-up spot in its side! Quickly, they recovered a small box, bound with copper. Taking the box, and my paralyzed form, they headed back down the stairs to relative safety, and tried to figure out what to do. Mayir’s first thought was to burn the box, which he did in another room, and they checked out the stone vials while waiting for an explosion, or the fire to burn out.

The vials were for healing, and for changing stone to flesh. Of course - perhaps the spellcaster upstairs could help us? The next morning, they dragged me and the (still unopened) box back upstairs. They poured the vial’s contents over the statue, and met - the former wizard of Pommeville, whose disappearance months ago was due to his search for that dratted book of spells! They quickly filled him in, and he was happy to un-paralyze me, thank Ubtao! I recovered the spear, and scarfed some rations while they talked over what to do with the phylactery. Once I realized they’d be at it a while, I went and buried my husband’s ashes. The other zombies, too, but... I found myself wondering, what to do now? Nothing stops me from returning home, or do I travel the world more? Do I stay with these folk, or get away from them before Darvin’s vengeful ghost arrives?

Meanwhile, Sprocket had admitted to having the spellbook, in return for which, Melvin not only got us off the island (by portal, which pleased Sprocket immensely), but told us that the pool of magma Roscoe created with the bishop’s wand would hold the wand’s powers well enough to destroy the phylactery. I guess we’ll be off to Roscoe’s resting place (if you could call it that!), and I’ll worry about the future later.

Posted by Kate on April 24, 2005, 09:14


We left the wizard searching the ruins of his tower for anything salvageable. I fear it will be a long search! We were lucky enough to find another boat at the riverside (which brought back memories of the first trip, and leaving my poor Charzth trapped as a zombie; I do owe Sprocket a great favor for releasing him!). Half a day later, we again pulled to the shoreline. Our original boat was still in the tree... joined, in fact, by a second. Interesting…

It was not a long walk to the magma lake, and we soon caught sight of a rather charred-looking ghost of Roscoe. He saw us, but did not remember how he ended up there yet again! We warned him that this was likely the final goodbye, and I flung the phylactery into the middle of the bubbling pool.
It must have worked; Roscoe quietly faded from sight.

Finally, we headed into town to tell the Lord the rest of our story, and perhaps get some rest! We walked right through town without challenge, and right to the keep. Despite the lateness of the hour, they let us in. While we waited for the Lord to arrive, I suddenly remembered Darvin’s warhorse.
I decided that I really wanted that horse. He had been a wonderful help to me, rescuing those kids from the burning farmhouse!

Sprocket decided to make my request her first priority, which made me laugh (and the Lord a little confused). He was kind enough to grant it, however, and I headed off to the stables while the others filled him in on what had happened after our “escape” which was actually a kidnapping. By the time we were all done, we were all ready to refresh ourselves at the bar.

I was all ready to head back in the morning to barter with the wizard over Sprocket’s magic book. The others aren’t so sure… but I want to do the right thing. We did promise! Still, for now, all I want to do is have a good time. Wherever we go in the morning, I’m going with Sprocket. Perhaps I can find a way to repay her for her good deed…

Posted by Kate on June 21, 2005, 09:35