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November 17, 2009

22 Monsters Later

Astrid's Journal

2 Neth 4709 AR

Rogar stepped outside for a few minutes; but the rest of us decided to descend into the next area of the abandoned chapel. We found several doors, one of which lead into a room filled with deadly yellow mold (we backed out quickly). We also found a yellow mold-covered dead peasant in the middle of the hallway, whom we carefully stepped over, and continued on to a concealed door that Tythe had spotted. While she worked on opening that, I noticed that there had been two sets of muddy footprints in the hall when we arrived, and only one dead muddy boot-wearer. Candal tried out another door— it lead to a small room with what might have been the vestiges of both a campsite and a peasant, and a creature covered in eyes and mouths that was, well, gibbering. He tried to shut the door quickly, but all those eyes had already spotted the open door. The creature was already filling the doorway, attempting to eat the paladin when I leapt in and took a swing at it— and got swallowed whole.

Thankfully my friends were quick-thinking— I could not move my sword and was attempting to slice my way out with a dagger when the gibbering mouther suddenly spit me out and sunk into the muddy floor of the little chamber, dousing the fire it had been attacked with. We shut the door before it could reconsider eating one of us.

We then descended steps that Tythe had revealed beyond the concealed door, and found ourselves in a large chamber complete with a defiled altar to Orcus (god of undead). The room reeked with evil, and it was not entirely surprising when ten bloody skeletons shuffled out of closets on two sides of the room. Fortunately, these were easy enough for us to dispatch. As we did so, Tythe found another hidden door behind the altar.

We followed her into the next area of the ruins, finding a room with ten more of the blood and gore-covered skeletons. As we fought them, the sound of rattling chains was echoing through the small hallway we stood in. We went to take a closer look at that room, and could see a man wrapped in chains. The room was also filled with implements of torture, as well as more chains and hooks hanging from the ceiling. Before we could determine if he needed help, chains began to snake out into the hallway to grapple us. I used a grease spell to keep him from easily climbing and swinging from his chains, and Salma enlarged me so I could put more force behind my sword as I finished off our assailant. It turns out that she recognized the abomination as a chain devil.

Once the creature was determined to be dead, we cautiously entered the room. We found a hidden container in the far wall; Tythe carefully opened it to reveal a heavy mace and a box. I recognized the weapon from folklore— there was no mistaking the bony forearm and fist-shaped mace as anything but the Fist of Orcus, an unholy weapon of the evil deity. Strangely (to me) our paladin Candal thought we could sell the item (it would be disastrous to attempt to wield it) while our resident rogue Tythe suggested that we destroy it. Since we cannot easily do either at the moment, we turned to the box next. It radiates magic and has screaming demon faces on the surface….

Posted by Kristin at 15:03 | Astrid’s Journal

November 25, 2009

Oh, we used to dream of livin' in a corridor!

Astrid's Journal

16 Neth 4709 AR

Candal stuffed the evil items into his haversack, intent on looking at them closer when we were not in the temple ruins. Salma was starting to wonder when and if Rogar was coming to find us, as he had missed quite a lot of excitement, so I yelled his name a few times, which seemed to help him get to us quickly. While the dwarf got up to speed on what we had been doing, we took a look at a huge runic circle carved in the floor where the bloody skeletons had waited. It is obviously a summoning circle, but we were not sure how to destroy it without accidentally activating it, so we opted to just alert local townsfolk of its presence.

We began our ascent out of the ruins, coming back to the corridor where I had nearly been eaten by the gibbering mouther, when I heard a strange squelching sound sliding down the passageway, the now-clean bones of the dead peasant visible just beyond our light; apparently, we had not actually killed the thing. I am unused to fighting in close quarters, but did my best to hold it off from the rest of my party. Unfortunately, I do not think anyone was aware of my intentions, as they all rushed forward. I was able to “rescue” Tythe by throwing and lighting oil on the creature; Tythe got splashed in the attempt, but she was able to get away from the mouther. Salma was smart enough to stand back and provide healing where she could, but Rogar and Candal needed to get close to damage the creature, which resulted in both of them getting caught in its numerous mouths. In a fit of rage, I was able to yank Candal free, though I pulled much too hard and our resulting momentum carried us through a closed wooden door into an unexplored room while the dwarf apparently spent some time inside the amorphous creature. The mouther shrieked at us each time it was hit with fire; this time, the fire killed it, and Rogar was soon free from the monster’s corpse, although he spent an unusual amount of time digging through it. While he did that, we checked out the room the paladin and I had landed in. It had a cold campsite, and we found a small sack in a bedroll containing jewelry that was most certainly robbed from the ancient graves outside the temple. With no way to identify where it had come from, we took it with us.

We returned to the caravan and learned that Deaglan (and his wolf) had joined the town guard, which was odd, as the town did not have a guard prior to our arrival. He had always wanted to be a town guard though, so we wished him well. We rested for the remainder of the night. Once the sun was up, we moved out, traveling north past fields of olive trees and vineyards, and fourteen uneventful days later, we arrived in Carpenden, and collected our pay from the caravan….

Posted by Kristin at 00:15 | Astrid’s Journal