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February 3, 2009

With a Twist

Astrid's Journal

15 Lamashan 4709 AR
Absalom (probably)

After the encounter with the zombies, we found ourselves crawling through a tunnel on our hands and knees. Up ahead of Deaglan was a larger chamber, and in it, the faint outline of someone in a mask looking towards us. The dog was still with us, and leapt to attack the shadowy figure as it turned to escape up a ladder. Salma and Deaglan recognized the clothing worn by the figure as that of Zandu’s killer and Salma’s stalkers, so we dispatched the would-be assassin before he had time to call for help or disappear.

As it turned out, he had one of those teleporting rings and a few potions on his belt, all of which could be useful down here. As much as I distrust this arcane magic (for that is what it must be!), we had yet to find Tythe, so we held on to each other while Salma put the ring on and twisted it.

What amazing luck! We arrived in a circle in a brazier-lit chamber with a pair of doors at one end— the only other person in sight happened to be Tythe. She had been out through some tunnels herself, and had only used her ring to return to this chamber because she was being attacked elsewhere.

We cautiously left the room and took the path Tythe had not used on her previous trip through, though it meant we would have to get past some guards just beyond the first turn in the tunnel. Luckily they were so absorbed in whatever it was that guards do that we were practically standing on them before they noticed us. I had volunteered to sing a lullaby to cause a distraction, when I realized I had the perfect opportunity to use something I had seen a skald use on charging enemies— this bit of legerdemain caused a grease-like substance to appear between us and the guards, causing one to fall outright and the others to have to pick their way carefully to avoid falling themselves.

We discovered that it is a bit difficult to fight in such close quarters. My friends all started out using bows until the guards were too close to aim properly, while I took a few down with my claymore (and got pretty beat up in the process). I think there were six, but at least one got away from us before we could dispatch him….

Posted by Kristin at 19:09 | Astrid’s Journal

February 26, 2009

'round and 'round

Salma's Journal

This tunnel led to another cellar, but before we got there we heard a door open and hushed ourselves. Hearing steps on a ladder, we tried to hide the lights Astrid had been casting on rocks in the walls. Not fast enough - a masked face peeked into the tunnel, then ducked away. Forward!

Deaglan sicced the dog on the man, and we followed them out. The assassin was trying to climb back up the ladder; we tried to pull him back down. Astrid was yelling, “Halt!” but we had to stab and shoot at him until he fell dead. Checking the body, we found another ring and fancy dagger, plus a pouch with money and vials of healing and invisibility potions.

Astrid pointed out that the Lady was in someone else’s arms when they twisted the ring to disappear, so perhaps we could use one ring to transport everyone. Deaglan, Astrid, and the dog crowded close to me as I nervously put the ring on and gave it a turn.

We appeared inside a circle, in a strange chamber lit by torches. No one else was there, but there were doors to choose from. Before we could set the dog to search for Tythe, however, she also appeared in the room! Thank Irori!

She’d mostly been stumbling about in the dark. One room sounded like it had guards in it. Another had something that attacked and cut her, so she twisted the ring and came back to the circle. After we’d caught up with each other’s stories, we decided the best route would be to fight our way out through the guards.

The guards were sitting at a table slightly out of our sight around an L in the passage; Astrid cast a spell to grease the floor, and we began shooting. The guards came after us - it was a long battle, but we succeeded in killing all except one, who ran away. Follow!

Posted by Kate at 23:00 | Salma’s Journal

and 'round we go

Salma's Journal

I performed a mass healing on the party, then went to watch around the corner while the others checked the guards’ bodies for anything useful. They got the usual gear and rings and even took the money from the card game on the table, reasoning that this was a dead enemy so it’s not really stealing!

The room beyond had two doors; Tythe checked the smaller of the two and found a room full of cloaks and bronze masks. Nothing in it was magical, and I felt it wisest to leave what looked like cultists’ stuff alone. The other door opened to a set of steps leading upward, which we followed while the others discussed the various ways they’d have liked to profane the cloaks and masks.

The steps ended at a torch-lit chamber with a circle of runes cut into the floor. There were no visible exits, so Tythe did the next obvious thing: she stepped into the circle and twisted the ring on her hand. She disappeared, and Astrid ran down to the other circle to see if she’d come back there again. Not this time! So, we all stepped into the circle of runes and followed suit.

Now we found ourselves in a ruined building above the Puddles. Thank Irori, almost home again! Of course, the Precipice quarters are dangerous and haunted, so we decided to hunker down and wait for sunrise, which was close at hand. Our luck held; instead of being left in peace, we were attacked by sturges, which drained our blood and our health!

We killed a few and the others flapped off once full of our blood. I healed us as best I could, and we staggered back to the Golden Griffon in the dawn’s early light. As we reached the inn, Astrid spotted more shadowy figures watching us. Great, more assassins, I bet; we need to get somewhere safe to rest and heal up.

The entire bar ground to a halt as we entered, bloody and battered. Astrid requested a bath, a meal, and a bed, and the owner couldn’t usher us out of the main room fast enough!

Will worry about the masked men later. Irori preserve me!

Posted by Kate at 23:21 | Salma’s Journal

February 27, 2009

Things that Suck

Astrid's Journal

16 Lamashan 4709 AR

We picked over the dead guards and their table— found a bit of coin and some more of those skull rings (these people have two modes of travel— skulking in shadows and teleporting). Moving on, we found a room containing purple robes and bronze masks. None of us have a clue what cult this is exactly. I am left wondering whatever happened to Lucinda— did she get taken back to her fiancÚ, or did she end up like her brother? I would assume she passed this way when the first time (okay, the second time) she was kidnapped, but we have not seen any evidence that she might be held here.

Of course, we need to rescue ourselves before even thinking of helping anyone else.

We found a staircase and wandered up to a torch-lit chamber with a circle of runes carved into the floor. Before we could stop her, Tythe wandered into it and twisted the ring she was wearing! I ran back to the previous circle, hoping to catch her there, but that room was empty. Worried that she’d get herself into trouble, the rest of us gathered in this new circle, all touching, and used one of the spare rings to send us to wherever Tythe had disappeared off to.

Staring off at the now-familiar decaying landscape, we realized that we were in the ruined Precipice Quarter above the Puddles. It is rumored to be haunted, but we were so tired that we opted to rest an hour or so till the sun came up. At least we were above ground!

We hadn’t even set up a place to wait for sunrise when we heard some ominous flapping sounds. Suddenly, a huge bat/mosquito creature had stabbed me in the side of the neck and was hanging on! My companions tried to pull it off with no success, and in fact soon found themselves in similar situations. I finally took a dagger to the neck of the stirge on me— that got it to let go! A mere minute later, all four of the attacking stirges had been vanquished, but we were all weak from blood loss and decided to brave the city streets in the dark rather than encounter anything else in the Precipice. As we headed back to the Golden Griffin, I noticed that two shadowy figures were watching us from an alley, but we were too filthy, tired and hungry to care. A quick bath and meal later, we had ourselves barricaded in a room, taking watches to allow each other time to rest.

Posted by Kristin at 15:02 | Astrid’s Journal