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September 3, 2010

Party of No

Griselda's Journal

4 Kuthona 4709
Hold of Stonehelm

Candal decided to strip the skeletal dwarf of its possessions; at least now he has a holy symbol dedicated to his god (this adventuring party lacks a lot of things I would have considered “standard” equipment). We also now have a magical pearl and aforementioned warhammer. Our paladin did try to move the skeleton to a more peaceful-looking position on the stone pallet, but ended up only ensuring that it would have to reassemble itself if it wished to haunt these halls.

It really makes me wonder how good he did burying the party’s deceased bard. I’ve also been told (and witnessed) that this group has a lot of trouble with animal companions dying in the most horrible ways— I pray this does not happen to Kasa.

We wandered off in a different direction and found ourselves in an area with four marble statues of pious-looking dwarves. Between them was a crystal clear pool, the bottom of that covered with coins and gems. As I reached into my belt pouch to toss a coin in for luck, I was surprised to see all of my companions doing the same thing. A feeling of health and wellbeing passed through us all. That turned out to be helpful, as we turned out attention to a pair of double doors where, once opened, we came face to face with over a dozen more shadows.

We backed out of the room towards the pool, trying to put some distance between us and the undead. The battle was literally hit or miss. I tried the throwing axe on one— it flew right past. Kasa took up a trunk full of the water from the pool, but she is just unable to aim and managed to shower everyone other than the shadows. Tythe discovered that non-magical weapons, even if they hit, did no damage. The shadows were mostly interested in Rogar and Candal, which allowed the rest of us to whittle down the numbers with enchanted weapons and divine spells. Soon enough, all were vanquished.

We then passed through the double doors unhindered into a big throne room. And into a spiked pit. Candal and Rogar apparently had enough weight between them to activate the trap; I was just foolishly not paying attention and followed them in. Thankfully, our other companions were able to haul us out and Tythe disabled the trap so it wouldn’t open again.

The throne room had carvings along both walls, and the floor was littered with armor and weapons, but no skeletal remains. As we approached the throne, we heard a voice from behind it say, “Got some ‘livies’ here.”

Going around the back of the throne, we could see a shield hanging there. It had the face of a lion, and introduced itself as “Rainox the Great.” Rogar picked it up. Candal found a chain belt and put it on. I was almost disappointed that it didn’t turn him into a female, or a dwarf, or anything interesting, but he did say he felt different. We also found some enchanted bolts, a waraxe and a mithril goblet. Proper treasure at last!

The shield kept talking, answering our questions— this place is Stonehelm (none of us had ever heard of it, so that really didn’t give us any idea geographically of our actual location), and the shield happily prattled on about the dwarves’ “Quest for Sky” and the defeat of some tyrant king in 3827— I guess the shield has been hanging around for some time.

Wait, somewhere in the far recesses of my memory, I’m recalling a story about the “Whispering Tyrant.” I hope we aren’t in Ustalav; it’s too close to the Hold of Belkzen. I spent months walking south to get away from this area of the world!

Posted by Kristin at 23:52 | Griselda’s Journal

September 26, 2010

Shield Bash

Griselda's Journal

5 Kuthona 4709
Hold of Stonehelm

Rainox the Great, which Rogar seems unwilling to put down, wants to kill a “shadow king.” The shield did tell us, much to my relief, that we are in the Five Kings Mountains— we aren’t really too far from our last known location. The shield also tells us that he was previously carried by “Grundar the Unstoppable”— I have to assume that Grundar did stop at some point, as he is not to be found in our current environs.

We had not yet checked the doors behind the throne; as we opened the doors, poor Kasa trumpeted and tried to bolt from the area, clearly frightened by what lurked within. The large room appeared to be a king’s chamber, complete with red curtains, a massive stone bed, wardrobe and table— and something not quite dead. Another shadow! We lined up to attack it, but Rainox the Great had been waiting for this opportunity for centuries, it seemed, and the lion face on the shield reached out and bit the shadow, killing it. Kasa calmed down once the shadow was destroyed.

Not finding anything else of interest except more doors and corridors, we continued our search. We walked single file down a hallway behind Tythe and came to a door. As she examined it, a huge stone divider dropped down, trapping Rogar and Candal on one side and the rest of us in a section that started to fill with noxious gas which poured from a dozen holes around the tops of the walls. Kasa and Salma were weakened by it as I crammed wads of cloth into the holes and Tythe looked desperately for a means of disarming the trap. In the end we had to destroy the stone divider to get out.

At this point, we decided a proper rest was in order, and camped uneventfully for about eight hours.

That accomplished, we continued on past the trapped area into a new room, and almost immediately found a lever that would have disarmed the gas trap. There were also three doors leading from this new room. One went right to a collapsed pile of debris, that room completely lost to us, and we started to explore the other two (empty) rooms, when we noticed that Salma was no longer with us. She reappeared in one of the empty rooms— apparently when she went in alone the door closed and, upon opening it, she found herself in a different area entirely. Thankfully closing the door again brought here back to where we stood. This proved too interesting, so we all gathered into the room and closed the door….

Posted by Kristin at 12:33 | Griselda’s Journal