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It Burns

Astrid’s Journal

18 Lamashan 4709 AR
A Cave in Kortos

Before heading off to seek pirate treasure, I looked over the body of the dead pirate. There were obvious burns on the soles of his bare feet in addition to the claw-like marks. I am left wondering— did he come in from the sea, or was he running from something toward the sea?

Following the map, we arrived at our destination in a few hours. The rock-strewn cave entrance had some skulls on pikes surrounding the entrance; other bones were scattered about as well, and the whole area smelled of decay. We moved to the entrance, and I cast light on a rock and tossed it in, revealing an inclined floor scattered with more bones. Deciding it was safe enough, we entered, and were clobbered by the stench that hit us. As we went further in, the smell just got worse, and now feathers were mixed in with the bones.

We came to a chamber with two bodies in the center. I recognized the winged humanoids—harpies! I told my companions to cover their ears on the off chance the vile creatures were still alive, while testing that theory with my sword. Thankfully, they were dead, and the dried blood stains under them showed they had been dead for some time.

We picked our way past the corpses and down a passage, eventually coming to a “Y” and a decision— left or right? Deaglan made that decision for us— the right had a bunch of rocks nearly covering the way past, but among those, he spied a gold scepter in a skeletal hand. Not sensing a trap, he reached down and grabbed the scepter— the hand and arm (attached to a string) came along, followed by more large rocks (which hit both of us). To add insult to injury, an inspection of the scepter revealed it to be gold-painted lead.

At least the resulting cave-in gave us room to pass by climbing over the rocks. We walked a few dozen feet more and came to another “Y” — one part led forward, and the other, back (we suspected) to the fork we had not taken. I suggested to Zandu that he backtrack to check. After a few minutes of Zandu not reporting back, we got worried and went down that fork ourselves, but we could not find him. Further searching did not locate him either— I have not even been sure he’s really Zandu, and this does not help my feeling that he is just not quite right.

We continued on to the other path without him, hoping that (if it was really him) he would reappear. Deaglan was scouting ahead for us, but must have had his mind on other things, as he tripped over a wire, dropping the floor out from under him and me. We found ourselves at the bottom of a 20’ pit, and a gray oozing thing was, well, not charging at us, but definitely leaning menacingly in our direction. Thankfully, Salma had a rope with her and dropped one end down so we could climb out. I then borrowed Deaglan’s bow and shot the ooze, which exploded.

Using Salma’s rope, we climbed down into the pit, and then I caught her as she jumped in after us. I climbed up the other side then, dropping the end of the rope so my companions could also climb out. From this point on, we let Tythe lead, so she could look for traps. This turned out to be a very good thing, as she found another trip wire.

At last, we came to a large cavern, half of which was filled with a lake. The area smelled of chlorine and something scorched, and the beach was littered with corroded metal and bones— I do believe we have found the lair of a green dragon. As I mentioned this, we noticed ripples forming on the surface of the lake....

Posted by Kristin on July 22, 2009, 15:21 | Astrid’s Journal