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March 2, 2010


Griselda's Journal

1 Kuthona 4709
Darkmoon Wood

I met some very odd people.

They came into the tavern portion of the Jak’a’Napes with the obvious intention of getting drunk, sleeping, and having dinner, possibly in that order. They clearly didn’t know any of the local lumberjacks, who kept to themselves at the other end of the room, and would have remained uninteresting to me, but Kasa apparently liked the look of one of them and was soon under their table trying to sneak food off of their plates. The dwarf in the group took it in stride and ordered refills (with a bucket-sized portion for my wayward mammoth), and I felt compelled to share the ale I’d purchased earlier as compensation. By this time the female human, who didn’t touch the ale, decided to head for her room, and the dwarf soon followed. I was left with a very drunk female elf who appeared to be more or less unconscious at the table, and a human male that claimed to be a dwarven paladin looking for another dwarven paladin, his brother, that he needed to kill for carrying an evil artifact at one time in their past. (I’ve since learned that this human male also carries an evil artifact in his haversack, but I must assume that these things are unrelated.) He also may or may not have killed his “human” family— the more he drank, the more confusing his story seemed to be. The female elf would occasionally murmur something about family being dangerous and such— I would have to agree with them there.

They attempted to toast a fallen comrade who had perished while killing a troll. They had apparently hastily buried her in an unknown place in some woods on the way here, opting to carry her hair with them for some mysterious purpose, perhaps as a memento.

The paladin, called Candal, appeared to be hiring me when I asked if he knew of work available, but he did not seem eager to discuss terms or even explain what he would be hiring me for, so I wished him and the elf (Tythe) a good night and turned in with Kasa.

I met up with them again in the morning. The human woman (Salma) appeared to not be on speaking terms with the others, other than to mutter something under her breath about being kidnapped that she did not elaborate on. The elf female was slung unceremoniously over a pack mule named Seven (I shudder to think what may have befallen One through Six) and the two males were discussing how best to get through the woods to the north of town and once again offered to let me serve them for free. I declined, with the intention of only walking them to the edge of town and pointing them in the right direction, but I started to worry about the fate of the two women; I was unsure what their involvement was with the two males. Strangely, Kasa seems to like the males, even the human who claims to be from the north but had never seen a mammoth before. I really couldn’t afford to spend another day in town anyway.

We walked for several hours until we came to a burned-out foundation of what had been an orphanage. Rogar found a trap door in the center of the ruins, and pulled it open, showing a ladder going down into the darkness. I followed him down, calling to Kasa to guard Seven and Salma, while Candal and Tythe (finally able to stand upright) found a light source and came down as well.

The place looked like an old torture chamber, with rusting manacles on the walls and tools of torture on one lone, blood-stained oak table. Four bodies were on the floor— one a desiccated husk in robes, dead for quite some time, and three other, fresher ones beside it— the latter three without heads. I recognized the signs and sure enough, four vargouilles flapped down from the ceiling. I quickly dispatched two, but was bit (not kissed thankfully!) by one, as was Candal. The others killed the remaining two bat-winged creatures. As they finished inspecting the basement, I broke what was left of the torture equipment— no one should have to wear those things unless they are a criminal.

Returning to the surface, they were obviously confused about what to do next— someone even suggested setting up camp, though it was barely the noon hour. They were looking for the one responsible for the bodies in the basement. I was pretty sure that three of the vargouilles had been attached to the headless bodies at one point, so likely the fourth vargouille had been responsible for the others, at least, but there is apparently more to this quest, some of which involves a map on the back of a dead friend or shaved wolf (I’m trying my best to ignore the nonsensical bits of conversation for now, which is quite a lot of it). I offered to look for tracks leading to the burned out site, but we had done a good job of trampling the area. Still, I found two sets of prints going in, one human-sized and one small or child-sized. The smaller set also departed the area alone. We followed those tracks for several hours with Rogar actually providing help with the tracking when I got turned around. Then I heard something very large in the distance. A few moments later we could see a treant stomping towards us. Everyone had weapons ready, but it was just much too big to fight if we could avoid it. Fortunately, it was intent on something else, or just didn’t see us, because it strode right past. Candal said it radiated “evil,” but thankfully he doesn’t attack evil on sight.

Posted by Kristin at 20:47 | Griselda’s Journal

March 16, 2010

Scene 15

Griselda's Journal

1 Kuthona 4709
Darkmoon Wood

It is a thankless (and payless) job to help those who do not wish to be helped.

We follow the tracks for hours, eventually arriving at an entrance to a cave, about 3’ high and 2’ wide. In addition to the humanoid footprints, we see that there are several sets of wolf prints as well. As the group argues over the best way to contact whoever is inside the cave, I call in and ask if anyone is there, to which I receive a low growl. Rogar decides to crawl in, while the others continue to ponder why we are there; I tell Kasa to “guard” and follow the dwarf. I hear Salma behind me, casting a light spell and following along as well.

Unfortunately, the tunnel floor has a sharp incline and Rogar falls the rest of the way in; with me following one second behind. I arrive to see three wolves about to attack and a small child cowering in the corner. Assuming she’s been captured (and aware I’m about to be attacked myself), I kill two of the wolves as Rogar kills the third. The dirt-caked child starts shrieking, Salma starts yelling, and we are joined by Tythe and Candal. Candal is sensing evil from the girl, but Salma is already running over to console her on the death of her “friends.”

We finally manage to get some story from the rescuee “Jenna”— she was an orphan from the goblin wars 11 years prior, and escaped from the orphanage about a year ago to live in the woods. She was eating whatever the wolves had leftover from their prey and kept busy helping people wandering in the woods; she does not wish to be rescued at this time. Tythe talks me into making some donations so that this budding “ranger” can survive without her companions. Someone occasionally points out the aura of evil emanating from her, but I can spare a fishhook and a spear if it means Salma will stop yelling. We depart quickly after that.

We decide to walk along the river for a while, and by this time I’m not even going to assume we have a destination. I’m being told that we are going to find “treasure” that is better than getting paid for a job, though they all on occasion offer me coins (I don’t even know if they have any money). At least Kasa seems happy socializing with everyone.

Later, we come to a clearing. There is a dead tree in the middle, with dead vegetation radiating out 20’ all the way around it. On the tree itself there are three crucified fey creatures, their rainbow-colored blood mingling on the trunk. As we ponder if it is related to the likely-undead treant we’d seen earlier, the group tosses oil at the base of the tree and then lights it and runs (I’m guessing this is more “not treasure”).

After a bit we notice the sun is setting and decide to make camp.

Posted by Kristin at 19:25 | Griselda’s Journal