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May 1, 2004

One Orc, Two Orc,…

Tassar's Journal

With surprise on my side, I ran into the room and plunged my weapons into the first two Orcs I could see. Before they had time to react I pulled my blades back and attacked again. One of the Orcs was dead before his soup spoon hit the table.

Like a flash, Rosorc appeared beside me and cut down another. Areon, with a gleam in his eyes came up by my other side and finished the one in front of him. As the three Orcs laid there dead and another wounded, the three of us faced the looks of about twenty more Orcs. These were the dim looks of recognition, recognition that they were about to die. I almost felt sorry for them….. almost.

And the battle raged, Rosorc plowed into the ranks to my left and Areon leaped upon the nearest table and swung his massive sword in a wide arc that nearly took three heads from their owners. For a moment I was still, awestruck by the carnage my comrades were reaping upon the Orcish foe. Then I heard a sound that struck fear into me, the sound of “THREE.” Realizing I was still on one, I had some work to do.

I finished the one Orc that I wounded earlier and then ran to a spot between my two friends. As it was, the Orcs were so infuriated at the Elf and Dwarf in their midst that they paid no attention to me. No problem.

With sword and dagger I went to work. Dagger to the back of a knee, followed by a sword to the small of the back. The silly Orcs never even looked at me as I took their lives, they just kept trying to kill my two friends, even as they fell. “THREE” I shouted, only to hear “FIVE” come as response. Damned Dwarf.

I finished another Orc when I noticed Areon heavily favoring his one side. Upon a closer look he was bleeding fiercely from a spear wound. A quick glance over at Rosorc told me he was getting a bit ruffed up also. To Areon’s side I went, just in time to cut down a well-scarred Orc that had slipped around us and intended to stab him in the back.

I then looked up to see a look of fear on Deitricha’s face. I followed her gaze to see two huge Ogres coming into the room. I never seen them this big, and Deitricha said there was a spell caster with them too. Just then William cast some spell at one of the Ogres, and ducked behind the wall as two massive javelins came at him. The one Ogre, wounded by William’s spell, drew a great club and crossed the room with speed and agility of an elf. Before I could come to his aid the creature swung the club and mashed William a good one. With its body in an exposed position from the swing, I ran right under it and took its throat out with a well placed swing.

I then had to dodge to my right side quickly to avoid the weight of the brute as it fell to the ground. I turned to see the other Ogre falling dead and there was only one Orc left in the room. Areon finished it before I could even lift my sword. I looked at my other friends who were a bit wounded but alive. Rosorc looked at me and said, “the big ones only count as one.” Having said that we added up our kills and decided he was still ahead by two. I went over to the doorway that two of the Orcs had escaped through to notice the kitchen. Hmm, loot the bodies or loot the stew, hmmm. It is then that I announced that I will keep watch and went into the kitchen to see what was cooking.

I found a somewhat clean bowl and spoon, filled the first with some stew from the kettle and sat on the counter. Then remembering the watching thing, I got down and placed a few pots and pans around the kitchen’s other doors. Seconds later, back on the counter, I dug into the stew. It wasn’t the best stew, but I had not eaten in at least an hour. Near the end of my second bowl I heard the sounds of Orcs cursing. It appears some of them didn’t notice the pans on the floor and fell over them. I put my stew bowl behind me, drew my weapons and stood up, “My stew!” I let them know. Then the first two Orcs seemed to disappear as a massive ball of beard and axe called Rosorc leaped into their path and cut them down. Areon, Theona and I all then pulled our bows and shot down the hall at the nice line of targets. Targets that noticed too late that they had no where to go, all they could do is watch the one in front die and wait their turn.

As the last one fell, Rosorc charged into and through the hall followed by Areon, me and the others. We all appeared in a larger hall with pillars and Orcs. One look at Rosorc and I knew he was thinking about removing one of the two. With my bow still in hand I began shooting the Orcs. Theona joined me and William cast a spell. He cast a spell at the Ogre in the back line. Slow learner that one.

Before I could say something to William, Rosorc charge ahead and into a pit that seemed to open suddenly. Theona looked at the pit then me, I could only shrug. Across the way two Orcs lit a torch and threw it into the pit. Areon said something about oil, I came to the edge of the pit to see Rosorc standing in oil up to his knees and holding the torch. Oh, he was on fire too. Yet he had a smile on his face for the flame had not touched off the massive pool of oil he was standing in. Deitricha began lowering a rope to him when I noticed the first Orc fly our way. The second Orc projectile launched by the Ogre hit William squarely; I thought we would lose him then. I tried to work my way around to shoot and distract the Ogre only to have my bowstring snap. Oh well, it was either sit and avoid the flying Orcs or try to cross a narrow ledge and do something about it. I chose the ledge.

Seconds later, in the bottom of the pit, I found myself screaming out to Tempus. To tell the truth I would have cursed the god of traps if I knew which one it was. Another Orc flew across above me. Determined to be of some help I pulled my warfork and threw it at the Ogre who had moved near the edge to get more ammo (dead Orcs). My shot must have pleased Tempus for the fork entered the Ogre under the chin and buried itself almost completely in its skull. I then heard a massive door shut and Rosorc yell “they are still just one a piece Tassar.”

Posted by Jim at 12:35 | Tassar’s Journal

May 2, 2004

Rooms Full of Orcs

William's Journal

The thing Tassar had found was a room full of orcs apparently eating dinner. We caught them by surprise and things were going well until I saw 2 large ogres enter. I hit one 2 or 3 times with different spells before it got me. I stayed alert and watched Tassar finish it off. He hollered a number at Rosorc who yelled a higher number back. They really need to get over who kills more, but what can you expect from fighters. The room was cleared soon enough and we ventured further. A door on our right led to another door with the mentioning of drow on it so we decided to leave that alone and check the kitchen. We got there just in time to hear Tassar yell, “the stew is mine.” There apparently were only a couple of orcs coming because they were all dead before I entered the room. We followed the hall these orcs came from only to be ambushed by crossbow bolt. The battle was on again and all I had left was cantrips. Fortunately that was all I needed. Rosorc fell into the only pit and as I went forward to help him out I was hit by a flying orc.

The next thing I new Deitricha was helping me to my feet and we were talking about a large door. Being unable to open it we turned back to the great hall we found earlier that morning. Checking the different doors we eventually found an altar to one of the dwarven gods. On this altar was the most amazing war axe I’ve ever seen. We left Rosorc alone with it and after a bit he emerged with a new weapon; unfortunately Tassar was gone again. He came running back into his hall we are now in gasping for air. He attempted to explain what he saw, but no one understood him. Tassar and Rosorc then went to investigate, but Deitricha cut that short so we are resting here for now. I hope we find our way out soon; I’d like to see the sun again.

Posted by Fred at 03:51 | William’s Journal

Orcs to Slay!

Rosorc's Journal

As I charged into the room, anger boiled in my blood. Visor dropped and axe drawn, I went into a frenzy of action. A heavy fore-swing with my axe quickly separated the first orc I encountered from his head. Still enraged, I reversed my axe and dropped an injured orc by Tassar.

Surveying the situation, it seemed we were in some sort of orc-ridden mess hall. As I looked about, I saw Areon jump on the table in front of me and join the fray. He dropped an orc with a mighty swing of his sword. Then four more orcs fell upon him with a vengeance. Two of them struck home with their spears. Blood was running freely down his side.

Rushing to his aid, I stepped between three of the uglier foes in the room. Here Clangeddin himself seemed to posess me. Placing my axe into motion, within seconds all three of them lay lifeless on the ground. Though my glee was quickly dispersed when four more orcs charged in! Two of them found gaps in my armour with their spears. Another hit me with his old rusty sword.

There was the sound of a horn being blown from across the room and then the twang of a bow. Halfway thru the note it altered. Seems Theona was putting her bow to very good use.

Tassar yelled something about numbers....and then my lady Theona was there. She quickly tossed me a potion of healing, which I tucked in my pouch. Was that a wink. I swear that was a wink. I wonder when I will get my new mug and chain back? Soon, I hope. Even in battle her beauty is unmatched....

Deitricha ran forward and healed Areon. He seemed to be in pretty rough shape. Then I noticed the ogres in the room. Brought to my attention by William’s magic missiles flying across the room at them. Followed by two huge javelins flying back the other way at him. Luckily for him they hit the stone wall by his head. From the amount of stone dislodged they surely would have ended his days in the Realms.

Then one of the ogres charged me. He swung his large club. Greatfully, he missed high. From behind me, I heard Tassar yell as he dropped the Ogre charging William. I then put my axe to work. I lunged in and dropped one of the orcs battering Areon. Then took a back swing at the ogre, hitting squarely in his side. He started to wobble just as a barrage of magic missles burnt into his chest. He fell unceremoniously to the floor.

Within seconds the room was silent. All the orcs were dead. The ogres, too. Theona quickly went to work collecting any loot that may lay about. Deitricha was busy healing us fighters, since all of us seemed worse for the wear.

I took a long draught from my ale flask. Killing orcs seems to make you very thirsty indeed. After I was healed up and refreshed I went over and gave the lady Theona her healing potion back. She tucked it away in her pack, and started to investigate up a small hallway leading out of the mess hall. Wanting to make sure she would be all right, I followed along.

We came to a corner about fifteen feet up the hall. Here Theona stopped and looked puzzled. Noticing Areon had followed along, I moved up so we could all get a look. There were a bunch of scratches and chips out of the floor. There was a lot of dried blood there, also. Thinking Areon or I might know what type of blood was on the floor, Lady Theona asked us if we knew. Neither of us could answer her.

She and Areon talked about the scratches and blood for a while. Sensing no major danger I decided to continue around the corner. As I stepped in the area of the blood I heard a sharp cracking sound. Then an iron rod shot down out of the ceiling toward me. Luckily I was nimble on my feet and managed to move mostly out of its way. I did receive a small cut on my arm. Mystery solved, the three of us continued down the hall.

It was a short distance later when we came to a bolted and barred door. On it was a bunch of orc runes and wards. Since neither of the elves could read orc I translated for them. Beware death ahead...Drow...
Realizing we were in no condition to deal with dark elves we left the door shut, and returned to the mess hall.

Upon arrival there was a clamour in the next room; what sounded like pots and pans being crashed about and Tassar yelling that this was his stew. Then the guttural speech of orcs set us into action. I charged around the corner. Running right up to a doorway that was spilling out orcs. With a mighty back handed swing I dropped the two that had entered the room.

Next a barrage of bolts and arrows flew up the hallway. Looking back it seemed everyone else in the party had let loose a round. Following Areon, I ran down the short hallway into the next chamber. It was long and wide. It had pillars every fifteen feet up each side along the walls. Everyone else followed us in.
Guess I was the only one who didn’t decide to hide behind a pillar.

Standing in the open, I let a crossbow bolt fly at the group of orcs, an ogre, and a cleric at the other end of the room. Hitting one, it winced in pain. Then the round of bolts flew both ways. A spear caught me in my thigh. Being a shallow wound I quickly pulled it out and charged across the room. I met the group of orcs with a flurry of blows.

Two orcs fell to thier deaths before I felt the world drop out beneath me. The floor dropped down into a twenty foot pit. I tried to dive for the edge, but I wasn’t fast enough. It is amazing how fast an armoured, equipped dwarf can fall twenty feet. As I landed, it momentarily knocked the wind out of me, and covered me in oil. I was standing in four inches of it from what I could tell. I recovered just in time to see a torch being tossed over the edge, down into the pit.

I lunged forward and caught the torch out of the air, saving myself a firey death. Though my arm did catch fire on my armour. Running towards the far wall of the pit near my comrades, I threw the torch up and out of the pit. Still on fire and no place to roll it out, I was pleased to see a rope tossed down to me. It was Deitricha yelling for me to climb up.

As the battle raged over head I slowly climbed up the rope. With a final pull Dietricha pulled me out. I immediatly began rolling until the flames were out on my arm. By the time I stood up, the battle was over. Orc bodies were flung all about on both sides of the pit. The ogre lay dead with a familiar green warfork in him, and somehow Tassar was down in the pit I had just escaped from.

After we pulled Tassar out of the pit, Theona pulled the lever to restore the floor. Then we looted the bodies, and set to figuring out how to open the door ahead of us. Much energy spent and time wasted, we (finally) gave up after every effort we tried, failed. The door just would not budge. Turning back, we followed Tassar back the way we had come.

Returning to the area we had rested in the night before we regrouped. Tassar continued to check doors out we had not opened, yet. In the second door he opened he found an amazing sight. It was obviously a holy site. Giant stone reliefs to Moradin with his hammer and Clangeddin with his axe adorned the walls. Underneath them was a pedestal with a large Mithril axe on it. Lying on the floor around it was a large group of charred dead orcs.

Motioning for the others not to touch the axe, I walked up and inspected it. It was beautiful. Exquisite dwarven craftsmanship. And if you looked at it just right, it seemed to have a dull glow. This was an axe of power. Fearing I may not be worthy of this weapon, I asked the others to leave the chamber and close the door behind them. Looking at all of the dead, burnt bodies all around me I closed my eyes and gave prayer.

With a swift motion I cried out my lady love’s name and pulled the axe from its resting place. A crackle of energy rushed up my arms and then it stopped as quick as it had started. I looked the axe over, and then hung it across my back. Exiting the room, I encountered a beat-up Tassar. He said that something had attacked him up in the ceiling of another room. Curious to see what my new weapon could do, I said I would help him take care of it.

Entering the room I saw a large hole in the ceiling. We fired some bolts at it but nothing came out. Seems the others wanted to rest. Dietricha got our attention with a couple of rocks fired from her sling.

Growing bored anyway, we obliged the others and joined the group. We made camp. The elves agreed to take watch so we could rest. Exhausted, I collapsed......

Posted by Erik at 08:45 | Rosorc’s Journal

May 9, 2004

Dark Tidings Whispering...

Rosorc's Journal

As I closed my eyes, I drifted to another place. I felt as if I was really there, yet I was not me....

....”Ro’, hey, Ro’ please wake up. I need to talk to you,” Theona purred. “Huh, is it morning already,” Rosorc answered. “Seems I just fell asleep.” .. “You did. I can’t rest at all. I went to see the sage, today. He didn’t have good news, I’m afraid,” Theona finished, laying her arm over Rosorc’s back.

As she started to cry, he turned to hug her. He knew that their long time attempts at having children were tearing his wife up inside. Stroking her hair, he held her until her sobbing stopped. Knowing that his wife wouldn’t go sleep, he strained to stave off sleep himself.

“My dear, I went to the temple again today,” Rosorc whispered to his wife. Then continued, ”There might be a way. Berronar has sent me a sign. As I stood in the stone circle in prayer, two entwined silver circles appeared at my feet. There has to be a way, my dear,” Rosorc mumbled, as he fell asleep.

Kissing her husband on the head, Theona slipped out of bed and walked to her writing table. She made a prayer to her Goddess Sehanine, then took up her diary and began to write....


Cadderly knickered loudly as they paused in the road. Brushing his mane with his hand, Rosorc tried to ease his mount’s stress. Whispering to his wife, Theona, he asked,”Which way did they go?” Getting up and remounting, she said, ”To the east.” Fire burnt in her eyes. They could tell that they were gaining on them. Justice would be served.

“Justice will be served,” Rosorc thought out loud. Kicking the horses into action, they galloped up the road.


Alaysia sat in her room. She was playing with her favorite doll. As she braided the doll’s hair the nape of her neck ran cold. Stopping what she was doing, she looked up. A shadowy form was in the corner by her clothes chest. Too afraid to scream, she started to cry.

The dark figure floated towards her. As it approached, its stench alone gagged her. Under its hood it could see decaying flesh and partially exposed bones. It was chanting something in an unknown language.

Getting her bearings, she dove across her bed. Dropping her doll, she twisted the ring her mother had given her on her finger. With a wink she disappeared from sight. Her pursuer stopped and looked around. As quietly as she could, she crawled to the door. Then tore it open and ran down the hall screaming for her brother.


Jerking myself out of sleep, I rolled over and sat up. Sweat soaked my body. Again with the dreaming. “What is going on?” I thought. So much didn’t make any sense. Yet, I was sure that I was bound to this elven female in more ways than one.

As I pulled out my journal and started to feverishly write down everything I could remember, I glanced her way. Even in meditation, Theona glowed with beauty that seemed to touch me deep within my soul. It was almost scary. I have known her such a short time, yet, it seems my love for her has lasted lifetimes.....

Posted by Erik at 08:17 | Rosorc’s Journal

May 11, 2004

Oppressive Wait

Theona's Journal

Flamerule 1, 1373, Ancient Dwarven Stronghold of Barannsar

We ended up letting our N-Tel-Quess companions rest a full 24 hours, as they looked like they really needed it. Even Tassar only got up from resting long enough to eat (about six times by my count). Since Areon was up, I decided not to do much riffling through our friends’ packs. I am surprised by my reaction to being underground in this dwarven fortress— natural caves have never bothered me, and even mines and sewers don’t feel as oppressive as the weighty architecture of these mortal-made catacombs. If it weren’t for Areon, I would claw my way out of this subterranean vault just to see the sun and open sky.

Finally, our comrades were up and about, and we decided to explore a passage near the dwarven shrine. These halls are loaded with traps, but thankfully, at least some have been sprung prior to our arrival. This corridor had a gaping hole in the ceiling at one end, and we found a large stone cylinder resting against the wall 80’ further along, with what looked like bone fragments and bits of rusty armor flattened around it. As we stood and admired the handiwork, I saw some movement in the distance. Two large beetle-shaped creatures with outstretched antennae were scuttling towards us— rust monsters! Those of us with bows began to shoot them, and I managed to kill one with a well-placed bolt, yelling, “One!” for Tassar’s benefit. They were quick though and I could see that William’s chain shirt and steel shield were already falling in a rusty pile at his feet. That was enough to send Rosorc retreating behind the rest of us, but thankfully William finished off the second creature before it had a chance to sample the dwarf’s selection of metal gear.

We began to head the direction the rust monsters had appeared from, and after walking a few feet, I noticed the outline of a door hidden in the wall. I was still checking it over when Areon pushed the panel open and headed through. He appears calm, though I suspect he must hate being under all this stonework as much as I do. I quickly followed him down the narrow secret passage to a rather nondescript room with one other exit. Suddenly, the floor began to move. I confess; I lost all composure as the floor coalesced into a creature of stone and began to attack us. Within seconds, the large earth elemental knocked Tassar down. My bolts merely bounced off of it, and Areon’s bowstring snapped as he tried to load his bow and keep me out of the creature’s reach at the same time. As Deitricha pulled the unconscious form of Tassar out of harm’s way, Rosorc ran forward to attack while William shot damaging spells at it with amazing accuracy. I know I just continued to scream, horrified at the lack of effect our weapons had on the hulking monstrosity. Areon must have sensed just how badly off I was; he grabbed me with one arm and deposited me in the relative safety of the hallway, where Deitricha was restoring Tassar to health. He then pulled out his greatsword and ran towards the massive elemental. I was sure he would die; I could feel the blind panic dumping adrenaline into my blood, along with an unshakable feeling of dread.

Watching another one of William’s spells hit the creature and actually knock some pebbles loose from it, I remembered the wand I was carrying. I had no idea if it would work, but it was the only thing I could think to try. I aimed the wand and used the same hand motions I’d used to activate the wand the day before. A sickly green light shot out from it, briefly outlining the creature, which somehow, incredibly, looked weaker. Tassar’s warfork didn’t touch it, though he was not close enough for an accurate throw. Areon however, buried his sword into the creature, and it was obvious that it caused it severe damage. I was fearful that it would retaliate against Areon, but it instead lashed out at Rosorc, hitting him so hard that I thought him mortally wounded as he crumbled into a heap and lay still. I hit the beast with another ray from the wand— it was now disintegrating before our eyes. With one more mighty swing, Areon brought the creature down in a hail of rock and debris— it did not rise again.

I finally stopped screaming at this point. A bit embarrassed by my outburst, I decided to carefully examine the walls of the room for anything out of the ordinary while Deitricha tended to everyone else’s wounds. I got as far as the unexplored doorway when I found a pressure plate right over its threshold. Marking it with chalk, I intended to continue searching beyond the room when my friends were ready to travel on again. I should have known better, as soon I heard the distinct sound of a trap door opening and “Weeee!” from a halfling voice in the hall beyond the plate.

Running over to check, we saw that Tassar had found a false doorway a few feet past the trap I’d marked, and, pulling the doorknob had (obviously) sprung the trap, revealing a 10’ long opening in the floor, complete with a chute. Deitricha was now panicking, as we could hear him very far below us, arguing with someone. The trap door swung shut. I found the mechanism to open the trap and forced it to stay open, then Areon and I tied a rope around my waist, since I was the lightest, while Deitricha began to lower 50’ of rope into the opening. Before I could climb down however, Rosorc jumped in, apparently intent on saving the halfling himself. After reaching the end of the rope, he called up for more— luckily 100’ was enough to reach Tassar.

When Tassar was pulled up, he showed off a nice adamantine sword and dagger, then promptly collapsed. We found out soon enough that he’d been the brief guest of three drow intent on poisoning him via crossbow bolts. Somehow the lone halfling, after landing in jail cell far below, had managed to kill one drow and pull his equipment over to the cell all while we were looking for a way to retrieve him. One of the bolts had obviously done its damage, but thankfully he was back with us before the poison took effect. Deitricha couldn’t rouse him, so she just picked him up so she could monitor his health while we continued on.

There was one more doorway in this little trapped hall— I examined it and found no traps. After opening it cautiously, Rosorc strode past me and began to travel the edges of the room— it appeared to be an old armory, with three arrow slits at the far end. Following Rosorc in, we inspected several racks of old rusty equipment propped around the room. We found a shield, throwing axe, and 6 well-made crossbow bolts still in useable condition, and I found another secret door— this led to the area behind the three arrow slits, clearly a point of defense for the dwarves. There was a secret door on the opposite wall as well, leading back into the armory. Off of all this was another small passage, leading to yet another hidden door, this time to an old barracks festooned with webs. Rosorc was walking ahead of me, clearly more comfortable in these catacombs than Tel-Quessir could ever be, and began to attempt burning them away with a torch. I saw movement in the webs and shouted a warning, but not before three large spiders dropped out and began to attack Rosorc. He was bitten several times before Areon and William had each dropped one of the monstrosities, and in the skirmish I accidentally hit Rosorc in the back with a bolt intended for the spider that was attacking him.

Deitricha has patched him up as well as she was able, though he is clearly weakened from the venom, so we are resting again in this hateful subterranean chamber— with Areon and I again keeping watch. I am sorely tempted to go searching for a way outside again, but as long as Areon stays down here, I will stay by his side.

Posted by Kristin at 14:26 | Theona’s Journal

May 15, 2004


Areon's Journal

We have now spent two full days in this underground place, and I am getting no more used to the closeness of the walls than I was at the beginning of this little adventure. I could really go for a few days time above ground, preferably in the woods somewhere.

I think we have only explored a few rooms, but what we have found in those rooms, and our group’s way of dealing with them has added a lot to the amount of time we have spent here.

Generally, Rosorc and Tassar try to run ahead of the group so they are ready to fight whatever may jump out at us. Of course that also means that they set off any traps that are in their path too. This is all well and good, but Theona could certainly find them and maybe even disable them without setting them off.

Tassar still tries to make as much noise as possible when fighting, by either shouting his name or “Tempus” or the number of kills he has. Rosorc has been humoring him and keeping track as well, though I think Rosorc has the advantage as of right now. Anyway, I really wish Tassar wouldn’t b yelling so much right now. We need to get out of here as quickly and quietly as possible. Tassar’s yelling is much more likely to bring a mountain of orcs down on us. Tassar also claims to have found Drow here, though hopefully we will not encounter any.

Deitricha has been saddled with the role of medic because of our careless, or maybe I should say suicidal fighters. She has used nothing but healing spells since we got here from Sigil, and she has done little fighting as well. I know she is a capable fighter, as I have seen her fight before, but she has had little opportunity to show her skills here.

Rosorc is an amazing fighter himself, which is no surprise. Fighting comes as naturally to him as flying does to Nianque. He still needs to be less careless, though. He has not had much more than a trap or two go off on him, but all it takes is one trap to kill. I would hate to lose such a valuable adventurer in such a careless mishap.

William has proven to be a very adept mage. He seems to understand that he will not be any match to someone in melee, and as a result, has been staying away from close combat and lobbing spells in to help us out. I know I was worried that his over eagerness would get him killed, but he seems to have learned where he fits in to be most effective.

Theona is still a source of confusion to me. She is a capable fighter, and very good at hitting people where it can quickly take them out of a fight. I have seen her use magic items, though she has no training at all to use them, and I am sure that if she were given the time to look, she would be able to find and disable almost every trap that we came across. The group seems to ignore her abilities as a whole though, and everyone seems content that way. I don’t see why she doesn’t put everyone in their place and tell them to stay behind her. Maybe we would be able to adventure about for more than an hour because we have run out of (healing) spells.

Perhaps it is the feelings that I have developed for Theona that are causing me to write like she is undervalued. I know that something has changed between us, though I am still unsure what it is that has changed. Even in these caves I feel more at peace when I am with her…almost like I am meant to be with her. Perhaps I am and the bond has not formed entirely between us.

I shall ask Solonor Thelandira tonight in my meditations. Perhaps he shall give me some guidance….

Posted by Tim at 01:38 | Areon’s Journal

Short Trips!

Deitricha's Journal

We had a quiet rest. Praying to Tymora, I was able to heal Tassar some more. While doing so, I heard Rosorc suggesting that we try to track down the orc mage! He told Theona that there would probably be lots of loot involved; he’s certainly learned how to get her attention!

With no idea where the orc mage was, however, we simply began opening doors and checking out the hallways. Randomly picking one, we headed down a sloping ramp. The first thing our searchers found was a hole - in the ceiling! Rosorc was certain it was a dwarven trap - lucky for us, already tripped. Sure enough, we passed the crushed remnants of a body on our way to the bottom of the slope.

A large stone cylinder explained the rest of the trap to the non-dwarves, and then movement down one of the hallways at the bottom caught our attention! Rosorc knew what the new creatures were right away; rust monsters, which quickly picked up the scent of our metal gear and rushed down the hall for a snack! Arrows were soon winging their way, and William began to cast spells. I used my sling, but didn’t do much at all to slow the things.

Theona managed to shoot one to death even as Rosorc stepped behind us and reloaded his crossbow - although Tassar insisted the move was simply to protect his spiked armor. I tried smacking the remaining thing with my wooden staff, also to no effect, but William finished it off for me. Poor William, however, had taken the brunt of the attack - losing his armor and shield in the process!

Guessing that there would be no more rust monsters from that direction, Tassar made off down the hall they’d come from. Before we got too far, both Theona and Areon noticed a secret door in the wall! They quickly had it open, and we turned down the new passage, ending in another door - also soon open. To our surprise, as we entered the new room, we heard a ‘click’ as William closed the secret door behind us! He heard about that, I fear, but it hadn’t occurred to any of us that he would take such a chance of locking us in!

We were quickly distracted by new trouble; the floor of the secret room began to move, and a huge earth elemental formed! Rosorc attacked, Theona stood screaming, Tassar charged. He was immediately kicked across the room! The thing then attacked so fast that it hit every fighter, hard, including Tassar, who didn’t get up. I don’t know what posessed me, but I dashed into the thick of battle, grabbed him, and ran for the dubious safety of the passage before the elemental could strike me, too. Tymora’s blessings were upon me! Meanwhile, Areon managed to push Theona into the hallway, too, and ran into the fight to get hammered by the thing.

Theona, seeing our friends in real trouble, leaned out of the doorway and shot the wand of enfeeblement at the elemental. It actually seemed to work! I healed Tassar back onto his feet even as the others attacked with renewed hope. The dwarf broke into song, the halfling flung his war fork through the battle (narrowly missing the elf), and the mage cast magic missiles into the crumbling mass. Theona gave it another shot, and Areon was able to hack big chunks out with his sword, as I healed Tassar enough to see him head back into the fray. Rosorc, unfortunately, took one blow too many; next thing I knew, I was dashing by the monster for the second time, relying on Tymora’s grace to do my duty. I dragged him to safety as Areon smashed the elemental to bits.

Tassar’s healing wand came in handy for the last time, as I did all I could to get my party back in decent shape. Tassar had a snack while I worked. Theona found a new hall, another trap (unsprung), marked it with chalk, then checked the door William had closed (thankfully, it opened after all), while the rest of us settled down for another rest. She searched the room while we slept, and Tassar graffitied the place with her chalk. I woke up with the power to heal Rosorc much more, and turned to Tassar, only to see him walk beyond the marked trap and set off another! He reached for a door handle and promptly fell through the floor!

I flipped out, insisting that someone trip the door again so we knew what had happened to him! It seemed a very long time before Theona had the door open and I could lie down and holler down what turned out to be a long chute in the floor - only to hear the sounds of fighting, then silence. I lowered my rope only to find that it didn’t reach far enough. Rosorc then carefully climbed down, bless him! He soon called for someone to drop another rope, which William did, and apparently that was just long enough; they both climbed back up the chute. Tassar had some new toys from his battle with three drow! He told me all about the battle, showed me his new black dagger and sword that’s taller than he is, and suddenly fell asleep from their poisoned arrows even as I healed his wounds. Knowing he’d be out for a while, and unable to help for that day, I picked him up and followed the others down the hall.

Theona had found yet another door, untrapped, through which we discovered the old armory (there were arrow slits across the way; we ducked below them as best we could, fearing more traps). A few weapons had survived the ages, and we collected them while she opened yet another secret door. This one led to the other side of the wall and the arrow slits, another hallway, and another secret door! That one opened to a room full of cobwebs, which Rosorc set to burning away, when we were, naturally, attacked by the inhabitants. The giant spiders were soon killed, despite the fact that Tassar wouldn’t wake up, and Rosorc was bitten several times and considerably weakened (not to mention accidentally shot by Theona, while William’s spells flew overhead!).

We have to rest, yet again. Rosorc is awake, but can hardly move, though he seems happy to just gaze lovingly on Theona. Theona, on the other hand, is looking a little claustrophobic from being underground so long. She hasn’t been the same since that earth elemental! I hate to let her down, but until Tassar wakes up and I can pray to restore Rosorc’s strength, we’re stuck. May the time pass quickly!

Posted by Kate at 15:54 | Deitricha’s Journal

Out to Lunch

Rosorc's Journal

Around and recovered, I tucked my journal in my pack. Pulling out some hard tack, I slowly chewed a large hunk. Then, as I surveyed my companions, I pulled a large draught from my favorite ale flask. Feeling the edge taken off, I walked over to Tassar and Deitricha.

They were discussing something quietly, so I decided not to disturb them. Continuing on towards William I asked, ”Are you recovered yet? You took quite a pounding from the Ogres.” He just smiled and said, ”I’ll be all right.”

As I went over to speak to Theona, I noticed Tassar had gone wandering already. He was yelling something about ‘cool and neat’. No time left to speak to Theona, I filed my questions for a future point and took off after the halfling.

As I chased him with the others down the halls I started to sing to myself. Seems my soul and inner being were wrestling with something major. I had not sung the song of “Troubled Times” in a long, long time....

....Greatly outnumbered the sky had grown dark...Hushed whispers of fear ran through their hearts...Clutching their axes and swords to thier breasts...the Dwarves and the Elves braced themselves for death...From on high the horns sounded as the dark horde came...Driving the valiant defenders from life to their grave...

As I heard Tassar yell that there was something coming from ahead, I snapped out of song. I looked up in time to see two rust monsters charging at us. Quickly pulling my crossbow, I fired at the closest one as it charged. Not being a true shot, it bounced harmlessly off the hard shell.

William stepped forward to meet the charge. Within seconds, his armor and weapon turned to rust at his feet. Areon stepped forward next, landing several quick blows on one. Theona then fired her bow. Somewhere in the mix of hits, the first rust monster fell.

Not having time to reload my crossbow, I stepped behind the people who had less metal on them to reload. After dealing with this type of creature for years in the mines back home, I knew what to do. We used to take turns chasing them out of the mines with leather armour and strong wooden staffs, to keep them from destroying all the metals being mined.

I realized that they were no real threat to our persons, though they would destroy our armour and weapons, something that would hurt us later on if the fighters of the party were to be weaponless and without armour. Before I looked up from reloading, the second monster had already dropped.

Rehanging my crossbow, I noticed Theona looked at me kind of funny. With my limited knowledge of this glorious woman’s inner workings, I just kind of shrugged it off and flashed her a wink and a smile.

Soon, we were continuing down the hall. I was following Theona closely when she found a secret door. Areon pushed the panel and it opened easily.
It opened into a medium size room. As we walked into it a large earth elemental rose out of the floor. Being a dwarf I tried to speak to it. I hollered that we wished to pass in peace and respected its place as guardian. All I recieved for my efforts was a pummeling fist to the chest.

Tassar came charging into the room. He took a major swing and then was pounded by one of the elemental’s large fists. Before I could prevent it, he received two more blows and lay still on the ground. Magic missiles flew, arrows struck home, but the elemental didn’t waver.

Deitricha was rushing forward to pull Tassar away, so I drew its attention towards me. Reaching deep within myself, I swung my axe for all of my worth. A large hunk of sod flew from its side, though it repaid the wound with blows even I could not withstand. As the third fist struck my world went dark....

The day was beautiful and sunny. The clerics were dressed in ther finest ornate robes. All who stood in circle were dressed for the festive occasion. Theona stood in the middle of the circle wearing a beautiful white gown, decorated in silver and trimmed in mithril. Her beauty rivaled the sun’s, the moon’s , and the heavens themselves. Rosorc stood at her side, very well dressed in a nobleman’s attire. Beard and hair braided, mithril and silver interwoven into the braids, beaming as he basked in his soon-to-be-bride’s presence.

A chorus of voices began to sing. The two clerics began to speak in unison. “Do you Rosorc take this woman to be your bride? In sickness and in health? Through good times and bad times? Under the trees and the mountains; so say you?” Piping up with love in his voice, Rosorc answered, “I do.” The clerics continued,”Do you Theona take this man to be your husband? In sickness and health? In good times and bad times? Under the trees and under the mountains?” Smiling warmly, Theona answered.......

“Hey Rosorc, wake up. Are you all right?” Theona asked. “I guess”, I stammered; Deitricha was laying her hands on me as I felt a warm healing energy wash through my body. Looking around, I saw the earth elemental was laying in a lump on the floor. Looking back to Theona, I could picture the sun illuminating her face.

A few moments passed. I then heard Tassar yelling,”Weeee!!!!” No matter what was really going on, that couldn’t be a good sign. I ran off with the rest of the group to see what mishap had befallen our comrade. Rounding the bend, we saw a pit trap open in the floor, with a very steep chute leading off into the darkness.

Deitricha dropped to the edge of the pit and started hollering for Tassar but he didn’t answer back. Then a fifty foot rope was produced and lowered down into the hole. It was not grabbed from the other end. Everyone feared this was the end of Tassar.

Not giving up hope, I jumped into the pit and rode the chute down to the end of the 50 foot rope. Here I grabbed onto it and tied it around my waist. I started calling for Tassar myself. I could hear him yelling, though not to me. Seems he was engaged in some sort of combat. So I hollered above for another 50 foot rope to be lowered to me. When I received it, I tied one end to myself and lowered the rest beneath me. Within a few moments I felt a few tugs. Then Tassar yelling.”It’s about time! Those Drow wanted to kill me.”

Upon arrival at the top Deitricha with great relief on her face gave Tassar a big hug. Everyone else broke into the “Tassar, watch out for traps!” record.

After which he burst into his tale of how he killed the Drow with his crossbow and lasso’d and drug his body over to his cage bars so he could steal his weapons. All in all it was a good story. With the blacksteel weapons to show for his effort he was quite proud of himself.

Moving on, we opened the next door. As a group, we started down a short hall that opened into a small weapons cache. Fearing the arrow slots were traps on the far side of the room we skirted the edges. Gathering all of the usable items from the room we continued down another short hallway.

Theona and I walked in together. It was a barracks style room. The whole thing was covered and filled with spider webs. Calling back, someone handed me up a torch. Lighting it and holding it with my shield hand, I pulled my axe. With Theona guarding my back I started to burn back the webs. As I heard Theona scream, three large spiders dropped down and attacked me.

I held one off with the torch. I hit one with my axe and then I was bitten three times within seconds. I felt the poison rush through my veins. My body fought to stave off the effects. Then the weakness set in. I dropped to a knee. My head started to swim for me to keep my senses. Something sharp hit my back. I started to fall forward.....

”I do.” Tears of joy streamed from their eyes as they embraced at the ceremony’s end. Holding his wife to his chest Rosorc knew that his life path was now complete.....

“Is he out again,” Tassar asked. Then continuing, “Figures, he gets all of the good spider venom. Look at his eyes. He must be really out there.” Deitricha answered, ”That is the look of love. I don’t think the spider bites have anything to do with it.” Quickly she glanced Theona’s way, then looked back and gave me a knowing wink.

Posted by Erik at 15:59 | Rosorc’s Journal

May 18, 2004

Very Bad Things

Deitricha's Journal

I was very relieved to see Tassar wake up with the rest of us. The drow poison seems to have had no lasting effects. I prayed, and restored Rosorc’s strength and the others’ health.

Opening the only other door in the room, the party found several tunnels - and immmediately split up to follow several at once! Eventually, most of us were headed in one direction, while Rosorc tapped his way down a hall behind us. This made for both good news and bad news.

I was following Tassar when he stopped at two doors opposite each other, and opened the one to the left. He found a library of sorts; stone shelves, and stone tablets on the shelves. Unfortunately, he also found a tattoed, red-robed wizard poring over them with an assistant, and several gnolls standing guard! Tassar screamed out Tempus’ name and charged into the room.

I shouted behind me what I’d seen, heard Rosorc come charging, and saw him round the corner even as a ray of light hit the wall over his head! Areon had walked to the turning, suddenly, he pulled his bow and began shooting down the hallway behind Rosorc. At least we weren’t surprised by attackers from behind, but it didn’t make things easier!

William pushed by me, into the room, and began casting spells at the gnolls attacking Tassar. He was quickly set upon, so I ran in and tried to help. I managed to distract the gnolls long enough for William, remembering that he had no armor, to squeeze back outside. The red-robed wizard cast some kind of spell, summoning a wolf-like thing that joined the attack on Tassar. He was getting overwhelmed by sheer numbers, when Rosorc charged into the room. I couldn’t get out of the way in time and took a hit, but I was very glad to see another fighter come to Tassar’s aid! Especially as I seem to have gotten out of fighting practice; I couldn’t land a blow to save my life!

Shouts from the hall let me know what the ray had come from - a beholder and several drow were attacking from behind! They’d cast a magical darkness, and the others came piling into the room, except for William. I was shocked to see them pushing the door shut, but apparently he’d gone down to a poisoned arrow and they simply were unable to get to him. Poor William! I didn’t have much time to worry about him, though, for the fighting continued, and the wizard was shooting spells, too. Theona got hit by something acidic, but managed to shoot my attacker dead with an arrow before it killed me.

The wizard, seeing Tassar and Rosorc mowing down his guards, suddenly disappeared with his assistant. But even as Tassar finished the last one, the drow and beholder began to win the battle of the door! Rays shot into the room, hitting some party members. Luckily for us, it also accidentally incincerated one of the drow in the doorway, which gave Theona a chance to slam the door a second time. Areon held it shut while I healed myself a little, and moved away from the door for some cover while the others prepared to do battle, yet again.

The drow gave the door another shove while Theona and I took a quick look around the room, hoping to find another exit. We had no luck. Tassar even climbed the shelves. We had just agreed that we’d have to fight our way out, when Areon said that the hallway had gone quiet. We walked up, he cracked the door open, and there was an empty hall. Poor William! Who knows what the drow would think of his strange ancestry? Quietly, I healed the others (giving Rosorc a flask of healing potion in case he needed it fast), and the elves listened for any movement. We agreed that we had to try to follow the drow and recover our friend, and Tassar had already started down the hall, when Rosorc decided to check the door across from us before moving out.

It was just as well that he did! He and the elves caught sight of the beholder, floating in another library! He slammed the door quickly, and we gathered around it. I punched it open with my staff so that no one was directly in the path of any rays, and those with bows shot the thing! Then we all ducked as it responded with a barrage of attacks from its eyes. Rosorc was hit and immediately fell asleep; thankfully, I was able to shake him awake right away! Tassar was hit hard enough to shatter his shield into pieces, plus falling asleep, and Areon suddenly looked absolutely exhausted. Rosorc charged into the room as I shook Tassar awake; he quickly shot another arrow into the beholder, and ran after the dwarf.

He didn’t get far; the drow suddenly appeared from near the walls! Rosorc was hit by a poison arrow and collapsed in a heap, right in front of the beholder! I tried to break the spell on Areon and failed, but he was still more than able to step up and kill one of the drow attacking Tassar. Areon was hit by the beholder again - luckily, damage that I could heal. He then shot the beholder - to death! Running low on healing spells, I gave him my last potion, then stepped into the room to help Tassar against the three drow still fighting him. I finally landed a hit, killing one, and with a flurry of blows, he finished off the others! The last drow left disappeared again.

While Areon held the door shut against the presumably invisible drow, I managed to wake Rosorc; the others searched the room - and found William! Blessed Tymora, what luck! He was in a deep sleep, of course, and Tassar suddenly fell asleep again, too. I’m out of spells, we will soon be on the run again, but I still feel hopeful. After surviving multiple threats like that, someone must be watching out for us!

Posted by Kate at 01:34 | Deitricha’s Journal

May 19, 2004


Theona's Journal

Flamerule 2, 1373, Ancient Dwarven Stronghold of Barannsar

Oh, this place will be the death of us! In spite of our copious rest periods, I have barely meditated in the past few days. The reveries I’ve managed have been filled with horrible images of Tel-Quessir being slaughtered by red-skinned fiends and trapped under a crumbling fortress of stone. Each of these trances have intensified the growing feeling that I need to get out under an open sky, or better still, a canopy of interwoven tree branches….

I’ve spent the rest of our “downtime” watching my companions, especially Areon’s tressym. The flying cat is obviously very intelligent— I observed Nianque watching Areon working with fletching and she had a slightly worried look on her face, until she must have realized he was using green and amber, not blue, feathers. The poor thing must want to be outside where she has more room to fly, and she must have communicated this to Areon because during a recent mediation I heard him mumble something about returning the silver cat to the woods.

My comrades were finally ready to move ahead after another 24 hours in the abandoned barracks. I managed to find a few coins on some desiccated husks of orcs, but nothing else of interest or value. I was again reassured by my N-Tel-Quess companions that there would be lots of “loot” the further into these halls we ventured. I was humoring them at first, but Rosorc said the same thing, which troubles me. Surely he knows that anything we find in these catacombs must be returned to the dwarven descendants? I personally have no problem with that— I may not follow all the laws of this land to the letter, but I do feel strongly that items of birthright should always be returned to the peoples that have lost them, and would hope that all of my companions feel the same way.

When at long last we opened the door on the far side of the room to continue our wanderings, the group fractured into several smaller parties— Rosorc went left, Tassar, Deitricha, and, after a slight pause, William, went right and I begged Areon to go search for an exit to this place with me. I could see he was seriously considering it, though the startled cries of our friends (though to be fair, Tassar’s were more like shouts of challenge) cut short any consideration of that. I ran towards Tassar’s voice while Areon turned to see what Rosorc, who was making considerable noise of his own as he tried to catch up to us, had found.

I discovered that Tassar had gone down a bend in the corridor and opened a door— finding four gnolls, a Red Wizard of Thay, and his assistant in what appeared to be a library for stone tablets. The assistant, I noticed, was making rubbings of certain stones. The wizard and gnolls, however, looked quite put upon by our arrival and were keen on making us pay for it. I quickly shot a bolt at the wizard, hitting him (and annoying him more), then ducked out to call to Areon, in time to see Rosorc rounding the corner and a beam of red light hitting the wall right above them both. Thankfully Rosorc new exactly what was following him and pulled Areon back from the corner as several drow crossbow bolts and a small beholder came flying up behind him. I was running towards them when the hall became completely black. Remembering that the drow employ darkness spells when they attack, I ran back towards the other group to fight in the library, and thankfully, Rosorc and Areon followed suit.

I looked up just in time to see that the wizard had summoned a Hell Hound, and then I hit the wizard with another bolt. He obviously remembered me and retaliated with an acid arrow spell, which continued to burn me for several seconds afterwards. My friends yelled to me to push the door shut before the beholder and drow came in. As I did so, one drow did make it in, but ironically, became the only casualty of one of the beholder’s ray attacks. After I pushed the door shut, I realized that, to my horror, William was not in the room with us. I managed to kill a gnoll that was harassing our cleric with a well-placed bolt, and saw the wizard and his assistant disappear. I also felt the door behind me give and the drow start to push their way in. Thankfully Areon was by me and was able to force the stone door closed again.

Suddenly, we realized that we’d killed everything in the room. Deitricha and I did a quick walk around looking for another way out. We found none, but the hall beyond the only door was now quiet, so we ventured a peek out.

Seeing the way clear (and no sign of William at all), I argued that we should try to find a way out, as it was likely that anyone showing the celestial qualities William has would have been killed by the drow immediately. There was one door left in the hallway though, and we listened at it, hoping against hope that somehow William had crawled inside to wait for us. We heard nothing, so Rosorc carefully opened the door a bit— enough to see that the beholder was waiting on the other side! We tried to pull the door shut and attack the beholder at the same time— that didn’t really work out too well though we got a few hits on it. The beholder shot a few of us with rays— Rosorc and Tassar fell asleep, of all things, but Deitricha was right there to kick them awake. Areon killed the thing outright, thankfully, so we opened the door all the way.

Rosorc ran in to check the room over and was attacked by the drow, who had been hiding invisibly around the perimeter of the chamber. Areon was going to follow him, but had been hit by some spell that knocked the wind out of him— he staggered a bit as Tassar charged into the room and Rosorc fell to another drow spell. Thankfully Areon was able to pick off drow with his bow from outside the room. Just when I thought all was lost for those inside (and I’ve been thinking that a lot), the remaining drow disappeared. We scrambled into the chamber and Areon shut the door, leaning on it and looking exhausted. Deitricha patched up our fighters, who keep falling asleep, no doubt from drow poison. We even found William in the room, still alive— the drow must have been keeping him for use as a slave or a sacrifice. I, without thinking or hesitating, threw myself into Areon’s arms. I’m sure he was at least as surprised as I was.

Posted by Kristin at 17:24 | Theona’s Journal

May 23, 2004

Time for a Nap

William's Journal

We traveled for a bit down one of the corridors obviously lost in this labyrinth of a fortress. As we traveled I decided to watch for any creatures from above being as Tassar had an encounter with one. I did see a large opening in the ceiling at one point but Rosorc said it appeared to be from an already spent trap. Walking a few feet further I saw what he meant. A large cylinder of stone had apparently come to rest rather abruptly at the end of this hall and apparently taken someone with it many years ago. Shortly after seeing this someone spotted a rust monster. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I soon found out as booth my shield and armor rusted off me before my very eyes. A couple of spells and a few well-placed arrows took care of them, but the damage was already done. Being as we couldn’t stop or turn back we went forward. Theona I think found a secret door and we looked inside. I was the last one in and figured we’d be safer if the door was closed. Soon I heard sounds of combat and entering this room I saw Tassar and Rosorc battling an Earth elemental. I kept out of its reach, casting spells as best I could watching the 2 fighters fall over get healed and fall again. Then Theona cast enfeeblement on it with her wand and the elemental was soon defeated. We then had to rest and tend to our wounds.

Early the next day Tassar had got a bit anxious to be on and fell into another pit trap. I don’t know what all happened to him while he was down there, but when we got him back he had a black longsword and matching dagger. All I heard him say was Drow, and then he passed out. Deitricha carried him as we worked our way through the hidden chambers and found what appeared to be a barracks filled with spider webs. Of course with webs comes spiders and the battle was on. Rosorc got the poison this time but we were able to dispatch them before it got to really affect him. We decided to rest here another day being as both our fighters were currently impaired. The next day Rosorc went one way while the rest of us went the other. We didn’t get 50 feet hen we opened a door containing 4 creatures with beastlike heads, a red robed wizard and apparently a scribe of some type. Tassar, Theona and I went in, then I remembered I had no armor, so I just as quickly left thinking I would be safer with people between me and them. That’s when I saw Rosorc and Areon running down the hall towards me. The next thing I know everything went black. When I could see again I saw a crossbow bolt coming right for me. Suddenly a nap seemed like a good idea and I drifted off to oblivion.

I was very surprised to awaken to my companions’ faces instead of a priestess standing over me about to sacrifice me to some evil god. There was some armor lying around from the drow and it fit nicely. Now I just wait for everyone to wake up and hopefully this headache will be gone by then.

Posted by Fred at 02:37 | William’s Journal

Peril from both ends

Rosorc's Journal

Coming to, I shook off the last of the spider venom that was clouding my head. Standing up, I pulled a long draught of ale. Noticing my flask was getting a little low, I took inventory of my pack. Seems the gods favour me; there were still four more full flasks in there.

Realizing that there was a discussion going on around me, I tried to tune in. Seems everyone had different ideas of what we should do. Theona and Areon wanted to try and find a way out. Tassar, from what I could tell, just wanted to run wild.

William was his aloof self, with no real opinion. Deitricha was game either way. I, feeling at home in this dwarven hold, wanted to go looking for some more loot. Plus, there seemed to be a neverending supply of bad guys in this place to deal with.

After a few heated words were exchanged, everyone noticed Tassar was gone again. He had taken off down the hall. As everyone else followed him, I decided to take the other way. Since I was tired of all of the traps, I started tapping the floor out in front of me with the butt of my axe. I’d travelled about forty feet when I started to hear shouting behind me.

Stopping in my tracks, I listened quietly for a moment. “Damn, they are in trouble again”, I thought. Right as the train of thought finished, I heard something coming up the hallway ahead of me. Luckily there was a corner. Before whoever or whatever was coming got there, I turned and bolted up the hall. At first, I ducked into the room we’d rested in.

Pulling my axe, I caught my breath. I held it ready to swing as I stood alongside the door. Then, I heard many of my companions yelling and the clash of weapons. Not caring for my safety, I tore out of the room and ran up the hallway yelling,”Incoming!” As I ran for all I was worth, a large flash of a ray shot over my head. Seeing the corner approaching, I reached within myself and turned it up.

That is when I saw Areon leap around the corner and fire an arrow past me. Then I was hit by several crossbow bolts from behind. None penetrated my armour. Risking a glance back, I was very suprised. Hell, there were six drow and a beholder behind me.

Reaching Areon, I quickly pushed him around the corner as I ran past him, hearing bolts hit the wall behind us where we had been but a moment before. Looking ahead, I could see William and Theona. Deitricha and Tassar were out of sight. There was a doorway ahead. From within it I could hear Tassar fighting with something. There were a lot of guttural, almost barking noises coming from within.

Running forward, I charged into the room. Here I was confronted by another bad situation. Tassar was engaged with four gnolls and a hellhound. Looking beyond the battle, I could see a red robed wizard who was covered head to toe with tattoos, and a scribe of some sorts, copying some of the stone tablets off of the shelves.

William, Theona and Areon followed me in. William took a quick pounding from a pair of gnolls. His missing armour at this point really hurt him. Theona backed into a corner and started firing her bow at the Mage. Areon pulled his sword and joined the fray with Tassar and myself.

Knocked loopy by his wounds, William rapidly retreated out into the hallway. Sadly for him, it was right into the advancing drow and beholder. Quickly he collapsed to the ground, riddled with crossbow bolts. We tried to pull him back in, but under the current conditions it was a non issue.

Two of the four gnolls had succumbed to our efforts. The hell hound was also twitching on the ground. Theona was screaming in the corner. Looking her way, I could see my beloved holding her shoulder. Seems the mage had hit her with some sort of missile spell.

Hollering for Areon to try and close the door, I turned and struck a gnoll down with a mighty swing. Areon tried to push the door shut but was met by a drow, rapier in hand. Next thing we knew, the two of us were being pelted by eye stalk weapons from the beholder. We were luckier than the drow in the doorway. He disintegrated before our eyes. Seems the beholder didn’t care who he killed.

A gap in the drow advancers allowed Areon to push the door shut. Theona quickly jumped to help him. Seems the Red Wizard didn’t hang out to meet the beholder. He and his scribe took off through a portal as soon as his last gnoll escort collapsed to the ground.

With the wizard gone Deitricha healed herself, and then started to heal the rest of us within the room. Areon and Theona held the door long enough for me to place two pitons in front of it. Then we all held it for all we were worth.

Seconds became minutes. Minutes became a long time by halfling reckoning. Tassar was convinced the drow had left scared of us. We all took a breath and started to look for a separate exit to this room. We also discussed what we were going to do about poor William. Our thoughts were varied.

After Deitricha finished patching us up, we decided to open the door and take a look. The hallway was empty. No one anywhere in sight. The doorway across the hall looked suspicious to me. As the others discussed chasing down the drow and saving William, I checked inside the door. Peeking in, I could see the beholder passing back and forth as if on guard duty.

Closing the door, we made battle plans. Deitricha pushed the door back open with her staff as Areon, Tassar, Theona, and I unloaded our bows and crossbows on the beholder. Though the beholder was waiting on us. He hit Tassar and me first and both of us passed out.


“....Greatly outnumbered the sky had grown dark...Hushed whispers of fear ran through their hearts...Clutching their axes and swords to their breasts...the Dwarves and the Elves braced themselves for death...From on high the horns sounded as the dark horde came...Driving the valiant defenders from life to their grave...thier mates and their young they fought to save...that last heroic stand on that ill-fated day...their sparse numbers dwindled yet they fought on...any glimmer of hope was quickly gone...laying defeated both dwarf and elf bleed...eyes going dark and no thoughts left in their heads...still clutching thier axes and swords to their breast...these unknown warriors souls went to rest...”

“How does this pertain to me and sis, Father?” Theroduin asked. “I wish I knew, my son, I really wish I knew,” I answered.


Deitricha kicked me in my ribs. Groggily, I stood back up. I motioned to Areon that I was going to charge the beholder. With a quick nod, I knew he would follow. As I took off, my companions fired their ranged weapons around me. I made it all the way to the beholder and put a huge chop into its side. Pulling back to swing again, I didn’t even see the five drow materialze around me.

The next thing I knew I was falling to the ground. Darkness taking me again....


“You and your sister are children born of fate,” I started. Then continued, ”Your steps are spoken of by the gods. Your mother and I have tried long and hard to find out what that fate may be but as of now we are no closer than when we started.”


As I pulled mysellf off the floor, I saw that we had found William, and luckily, he was still alive. My poor Theona must have been pretty injured, as Areon was helping her keep her feet. Tassar closed the door, locking us in. After Deitricha healed us, we set watch schedules. Then, being still under the effect of the drow poison, I quickly dropped into slumber....

Posted by Erik at 06:05 | Rosorc’s Journal

May 25, 2004

Look on the Bright Side

Theona's Journal

Flamerule 3, 1373, Spine of the World

For the first time since we encountered the earth elemental, I had the strength to assert myself. I said that I was going to go read the tablets the Red Wizard was studying, and then I was going to go back to the place the portal from Sigil had dropped us, and open the double doors to what I was sure would be fresh air and sunshine. I believe that Rosorc was the only one truly against leaving, though of course Tassar argued with me for the sake of arguing, then ran ahead of us all to the library and began to study the dwarven writings.

We ended up sitting for several hours, during which time we were, thankfully, not interrupted. The first tablet we looked at was the one the Thayan was making a rubbing of. It depicted a map from a dragon’s eye view of the North as it looked 3200 years ago. The only thing that looked really strange about the map was the Anauroch desert— it was depicted with lush greenery and trees. Also, burial tombs of the Arch Mages were indicated on the map. We of course made a rubbing of the map. Other tablets detailed precise locations of tombs— we noticed that the Red Wizard had been apparently researching on in particular called “Trellzoun.”

Deitricha, who surprised me with her scholarly knowledge of this history of this region, gave us a rough timeline of important events relating to our findings:

-3900 DR: Delzoun was established
-3859 DR: Several fishing villages allied to form Netheril, soon after learning magic from the Elves
-3533 DR: Adventurers discovered the Nether Scrolls and began to use magic more powerful than that of the elves; at least one scroll was stolen and lost
-3419 DR: Netheril and the dwarves of Delzoun established a trade route
-2954 DR: First floating city ose above Netheril
-339 DR: Netheril fell, while the Anauroch desert expanded
-100 DR: Delzoun Kingdom fell

I listened avidly to her descriptions— perhaps she can tell me more about the fall of Ascalhorn. Most of my friends were listening too, though when she was done and I looked around, I saw that Tassar had wandered over to the dead beholder and removed the eyestalks, which he was alternately waving over his head and trying to fashion some sort of belt. At least he hadn’t strayed too far. Still, when Tassar gets restless, it’s best to pack up and move on.

We headed to the spot where we had first arrived in Barannsar, and I checked the doors for any sort of trap. We carefully opened them, and I was fully expecting to feel the warmth of the sun on my face. Instead, we found a 30’ by 30’ room, with many little holes in the ceiling. Hoping it was just the foyer to the real outside doors, I was about to proceed carefully when Tassar slipped past me and strolled across the room to the other set of doors. I wondered aloud about the holes in the ceiling, for I feared a trap, but Rosorc believes that the dwarves used them to pour boiling oil on trespassers. Makes sense!

Tassar opened the latest pair of doors before I could check them, but when I saw sunlight pouring through into the antechamber I didn’t care— I just ran outside. Reveling in the light of day, I realized there were no trees— we were on a 15’-wide rocky ledge, though there was a road leading off to the right into what we believe to be the Moonwood. We are guessing that we’re at least 150 miles from Silverymoon, and without horses, but at least we are out under the open sky again! Areon quickly decided to range ahead of the rest of us, and though that was an excellent idea as he is so much quieter than half of our party, I had a momentary twinge of panic. A little bit of teasing from Tassar reminded me that I was needed more with the rest of the party at the moment, and I have to agree. I reminded myself that I would know if Areon had trouble within a moment of him knowing it himself. I think a lot of my inner turmoil this past week centers around this whole extra set of emotions; despite his calm demeanor, Areon seems to be in constant struggle with his feelings.

He had only been gone for a few minutes when he reappeared in front of us with the news of an orcish war party heading towards the doors of Barannsar. I was glad that we’d left when we had, lest we get stuck fighting them inside the stronghold and attracting more denizens from the Underdark. The party coming towards us numbered twenty, and we were in no shape for a protracted battle, so we agreed to hide behind the rocks and rubble lining the 20’ wide path down from the mountains and let the orcs pass. Areon and I hid quite easily, as did Deitricha and Tassar, but unfortunately, again, the spikes on Rosorc’s armor were quite obvious from my vantage point on the opposite side of the road, and this time I had no potion of invisibility to toss to him, nor could I signal him to hide further back from the road! William too, was making enough commotion from behind his boulder that a blind and deaf orc could have found him easily.

And they did. The orcs, suspicious, turned to investigate the disturbance on the far side of the road. Rosorc jumped out to attack them and William let fly a magic missile of some sort. I elected to use the drow bolts I’d picked up, both for the fact that they had been dipped in some sort of toxin that caused sleep, and because anyone that came upon an orc corpse with drow fletching sticking from it would rightfully assume that drow were close by.

In addition to the eighteen orcs, there were two dire boars in the war band. One was attempting to tear Tassar apart, but I got out the wand of enfeeblement and started wearing the creature’s strength down. By the time Tassar went unconscious, the boar was quite weak itself. I could no longer see what was happening on the other side of the road, but I could hear Rosorc bellowing something dwarven at his assailants. Suddenly, Deitricha flew upward out of a group of surprised orcs towards Tassar, so Areon and I tried to finish off the orcs while she rescued the halfling. I alternated between the poisoned arrows and the wand, feeling a brief moment of panic when Areon fell, but thankfully he remained conscious long enough to heal himself. By this time I was too busy being amazed at Deitricha’s new trick. In fact, Areon had to remind me to finish killing the dire boar that had fallen asleep at my feet.

Unfortunately, when we gathered ourselves together, we discovered that William had fallen in battle. I never really got to know him, but I feel bad that he died so soon after joining up with us. Magic-rich area though this is, I think the average mage is just too fragile to travel with this party.

Before leaving the battle scene, I did still have the presence of mind to loot the bodies. These orcs were hauling over 8500 silver pieces amongst them, plus the normal stuff you’d expect to find on orcs. There also was a pretty silver ring with a very ornate motif of a mermaid on it. I have so far resisted putting it on, nor will I suggest anyone else do so until we are in better shape, on the off chance it has some unfavorable magic qualities. We also stacked the orcs in the middle of the road and left some more drow weapons and armor strewn about— hopefully that will warn anyone else from going into Barannsar before we contact the dwarves about it.

We are in a sorry state, so we’ll have to find a safe place to rest. At least I finally feel like we are “home” now that we are outside of that horrible place.

Posted by Kristin at 14:13 | Theona’s Journal

May 26, 2004

Triumph and Tragedy

Deitricha's Journal

Knowing the drow would soon return, we did not search the entire library. We did check out the tablets that the Red Wizard had been perusing, however! His assistant had been making a rubbing of an ancient stone map of the North. The Anauroch Desert, even, was shown as a fertile land! The map also showed where to find the burial tombs of ancient mages of the Netheril Empire. I asked if we had the materials to make a rubbing of our own, which got my belt rubbed by Tassar. While I was laughing, Rosorc pulled out some parchment and he and Theona set about copying the map.

While they worked, we read some of the tablets nearby. Apparently, the map is especially for finding the burial tomb of the Archmage Trelzun. I tried to explain what I remembered of Netheril’s history, and its powerful magic. I think it may be worthwhile to find out more about these burial tombs, especially if the Red Wizards are interested, too! I was a little distracted by Tassar gutting the beholder in the background, I’m afraid. Or maybe it was the sight of him waving eyestalks around and making them “talk”.

As soon as the map was done, we began to argue about which way to go! We knew we wanted away from both the drow and the orcs, and, of course, the elves just wanted outside already, but no one knew which way that was. Both Theona and Areon wanted to see what lay beyond the doors at the other end of the hallway we’d entered by the portal. The ones that Tassar had led us away from by his curiosity. Growing a little exasperated, I pointed out to Tassar that they wouldn’t be happy until we knew what was on the other side of those doors - and he was off! Thankfully, everyone else decided to follow. At least we were on the move before anything else showed up!

We made it back to the original hallway, and readied ourselves for trouble around the unopened doors. Theona checked for traps, and gently pushed the doors open to reveal an empty chamber beyond. We could see ominous-looking slits in the ceiling, and another set of doors across the way. Tassar poked an eyestalk into the room and got no reaction (from the room, at least). He then snuck inside, keeping by the walls, and heading for the doors on the opposite side. We watched quietly as he reached them and flung them wide - to blinding sunlight! Thank Tymora! We followed him around the edge of the room and saw our first open sky in what seemed like ages.

We found ourselves on a rocky ledge, with an ancient roadbed winding off to the right. I studied the mountain ranges and forests below, and made an educated guess - I think this road will take us to the Moonwood! At least we’ll be closer to home, but we’ll have to be extra careful, as the Wood is full of evil lycanthropes. Still, we’ll worry about that when we get there. Areon quickly scouted ahead as we moved out - glad to be doing his own thing again, I’m sure! He wasn’t looking very healthy, I fear; as I looked at my friends in the bright light, I realized that Tassar didn’t look much better, and William was barely on his feet. I felt badly that I couldn’t heal them, but at that point it seemed more important to keep moving. In the Spine of the World, resting for a day on an open road isn’t a good idea!

Unfortunately, fate took any options out of our hands. Areon came rushing back up the road to tell us that there was a good-sized party of orcs coming toward us! We scattered, hoping to hide behind boulders as we’d done in Hell. Unfortunately, Rosorc had the same trouble as before, and no potion of invisibility. William, too, was unable to hide well. A crowd of orcs and two dire boars marched up the road, took one look around, and headed right for us! Rosorc was first into battle - I was glad that he was the healthiest of us all! William cast a spell over our heads and killed one of the orcs outright; the other nineteen kept coming. Rosorc charged into the midst of them as elves’ arrows flew overhead and I used my sling. Soon, everyone was surrounded.

I managed to kill an orc, myself, and saw William kill several with a burst of fire before turning to run. He didn’t make it far - out of nowhere, one of the dire boars loomed large. It smashed him to death! It didn’t have a chance to sink in before two more orcs attacked me. I saw Theona’s ray of enfeeblement going off, swung my staff, then caught sight of Tassar going down under the other dire boar! Forgetting my own attackers, I ran for him! The orcs hit me a couple of times before I remembered Tymora’s blessings and cast fly upon myself. I snatched Tassar’s motionless body from the boar, getting hit as I flew past, and managed to stabilize him while hiding him away from the battle.

Flying above the battle, I saw that we were actually starting to come out ahead, except for William. The elves were down to two attackers, and Rosorc to one, but the boars and two more orcs were heading into the fight. Theona backed up to nock an arrow, and I flew overhead with my sling and managed to kill the two orcs that Areon had been hacking into. Rosorc charged one of the boars, ending up in battle with both an orc and the beast. He killed it and turned to the orc as Areon killed an orc for himself, and went down to the last boar. Theona went berserk, screaming and shooting arrows into the thing. I wondered what effect a little arrow would have on a creature that size, when it collapsed! She’d found a good use for the drow poison! She ran up to cut its throat and I turned to see how Rosorc was doing.

He and the last orc were staggering around each other, both looking haggard. I shot sling bullets at the orc but missed badly, even hitting Rosorc once. Thankfully, he was able to kill it despite my help. He then found the healing potion I’d given him, and used it on Tassar! Bless him! We piled the bodies, and the others searched out what loot they could find. I made my way to William’s body and sadly buried him under a cairn. I’ve prayed to Tymora to guide his spirit! With my last healing, we’re all on our feet, but barely. Areon is going to have to find us a good hiding place away from here. We simply can’t go any further.

May Tymora watch over us!

Posted by Kate at 00:37 | Deitricha’s Journal

May 28, 2004

Beowulf's Bio

Beowulf's Journal XPCs

Beowulf and Shadow, image (c) Kristin JohnsonWritten in Druidic:
I found this book in one of the stores in this place called a city. I’m told some people write the major events in their lives in these things. Sounds strange, but the elders told me I need to try to understand the rest of the world no mater how strange they are. This seems like a good place to start. So I bought this book and have been carrying it for about three weeks now while wandering in this forest I have called my home for many seasons. I’ve decided to start with the beginning, so here I go. I don’t know where I’m originally from. The Elders tell me I was found being raised with a pack of wolves. Being as that is a rare thing at best, they viewed it as a sign and decided to teach me their ways, beliefs and traditions. I learned how to survive in the wild and how to commune with nature itself. I was taught how to channel the divine energy of nature and one day, after a long and taxing ritual, Shadow walked into my life and has been by my side ever since. Shadow’s a timber wolf with a coat of pure black fur. Often he has been my eyes and ears in trying circumstances. Being still new to the way of the Druids I was often sent on missions, mainly sending messages and returning with answers. Being as there are lycanthropes in the area I was taught how to defend myself from them, but I tend to go out of my way to avoid them. I’ve been to several towns and a couple of cities, but I prefer the forest. Shadow seems to hear something, I’ll write more later; maybe I’ll write about this.

Character sheet: Beowulf [Illuskan (Human) Druid]

Cause of death: dropped below zero by a Cone of Cold spell.

Posted by Fred at 13:06 | Beowulf’s Journal | XPCs

A Day Late and a Mage Short

Areon's Journal

We are now outside of the Dwarven fortress, though out exit was less than joyful.

We actually headed deeper into mountain first led by Tassar, which seems to be a trend that is always leading to disaster. Rosorc decided he would head off in the opposite direction. Theona and I stayed together to see where everyone else went. Deitricha and William followed Tassar, so I decided that we had better go with the larger group. I was concerned for Rosorc’s safety, however, so Theona and I lagged behind a good distance. I also figured this would help to protect us from traps that Tassar would be sure to trip.

Tassar wondered deeper into the fortress, throwing open any doors he found. Of course the first door he opened he found a Red Wizard of Thay! The Red Wizard had an assistant and four Gnoll bodyguards, who Tassar immediately attacked.

I remember very well what my mother told me about Red Wizards: Red Wizards are wizards of great power who have no scruples. They will do anything to get what they seek. Beware should you come upon one.

The Red Wizard was not our only trouble, however. Rosorc came clattering down the hall shouting about Drow, who were chasing him. I stepped around the corner and took a shot at one with my bow, and saw something even more terrifying: an Eye Tyrant. Rosorc Dragged me back, and we prepared to fight the Drow who would be surely coming around the corner. The Hallway then became a mass of black. I realized that one of the Drow had cast it so that we wouldn’t be able to ambush them. Rosorc and I then felt our way quickly down the hall and into the room that Tassar had charged into.

William had fallen in the confusion, and was missing. We cleared the room of gnolls and the Red wizard grabbed his assistant and winked out of existence, much like a teleport spell would do.

With the exit of the Red Wizard, we were able to turn our attention to the Drow trying to force their way through the door. Theona slammed the door in their faces and I held it while Rosorc pinned it with a few pitons.

The hallway grew quiet, so we opened the door again and looked for William, who was still missing. Rosorc peeked into the room that was across from us and saw the Eye Tyrant again. We decided that we should try and attack it en masse, so we gathered around the door with bows and crossbows and Deitricha swung the door open. Both the Eye Tyrant and our rag tag little group fired everything we had into each other. Rosorc then charged into the room to fight the creature. The Drow we had been fighting appeared throughout the room. One shot Rosorc, and he fell to its poison.

I continued trying to fight the Eye Tyrant at Range while Tassar engaged the Drow fighters and Theona traded shots with a Drow Sorcerer. I became the Eye Tyrant’s target, and received a sizzling broadside from it. I was staggered by the amount of punishment I received, but Solonor Thelandira’s hand guided my aim and I put my last arrow through the cursed things central eye, killing it.

Detricha healed me quite a bit and I helped Tassar to kill the rest of the Drow fighters. The Drow Sorcerer disappeared before we could kill him, however.

I closed the door and leaned against it. I could hardly move. Theona was not nearly as exhausted as me and threw herself into my arms. I am sure we would have ended up as a tangled mess of limbs had I not been using the door for support.

After minute the exhaustion wore off and we discussed what we should be doing. Theona begged that we return to the place we had arrived by portal and all the non-elves reluctantly agreed. We took a rubbing of the stone tablets that the Red Wizard had been studying and made our way back to the ornate doors in the hallway we had appeared in. Theona made sure the door had not been trapped than pushed them open reveling a huge room resembling a foyer. There were two slits in the ceiling, which Rosorc said would most likely be used to dump boiling oil on intruders. Tassar ran across the room and flung open another set of ornate doors, revealing open sky!

Theona and I breathed sighs of relief and we set of on the ancient Dwarven road. I ranged ahead so that I could better spot and provide warning of anything that we may come upon. My ability to move quietly and keep to shadows also pays off allowing me to get away unseen to warn others of coming trouble.

I managed to find trouble not long after we had set out. A band of Orcs, along with a couple of dire boars was heading up the path, heading towards the Dwarven hold. I returned to the rest of the party quickly and told everyone to hide. We hid behind boulders much like we had done in the Hells, but this time it did not work nearly as well. The Orcs spotted William and Rosorc immediately, and charged up the hill after them. I lost track of where everyone was during the battle because we all broke cover and fought for our lives. I think Rosorc and I each killed a half dozen Orcs, but we were both looking worse for wear after the fight. One of the dire boars knocked me off my feet, and I only managed to hold on because I was able to heal myself with my wand.

William did not make it through the battle unfortunately, he tried to help us by casting spells, but he attracted the attention of to many for him to handle, and was crushed to death by a boar.

We buried William and piled the Orc bodies in the road, serving as a warning to any other patrols. But a warning to what? We are in no shape to fight, and my biggest concern is finding a hiding place well off the road where we can rest undisturbed.

Posted by Tim at 21:34 | Areon’s Journal

May 30, 2004

Out of the Dark... into the Dark a friend falls

Rosorc's Journal

I walked through the darkness. I could hear my love in the distance. She beckoned me like a haunt in the night. As I proceeded, the darkness thickened. Chills rolled up and down my spine.

I rounded a large bend in the road. Here there was a hole in the ground. A large, ominously dark, hole in the ground. Fetid odors and eerie sounds rolled out from the darkness. Somewhere down below Theona’s voice beckoned to me. Begging me to join her. Telling me we would be together forever.

With great trepidation I entered the hole. Walking down its slick and musky path, my dark vision started to fail me. Then, it was gone. All there was was the sound of my love’s voice and the slimy wall to track my way forward with.

For what seemed to be hours, may have been days, or even weeks in that dreadful place, I continued on. Always seeming to be just one step behind my lady love. Growing tired, I called out to her,”Please, my love, won’t you wait so I can join you? I grow weary from these travels, and wish just to hold you in my arms.”

What I had mistaken for a dark cackling laughter was actually Theona’s reply, I think, “Soon, my dear, you will join me in the darkness and we shall be together forever!”


Jumping off the floor, I shuddered uncontrollably. I couldn’t throw the chill. “What is going on inside my head? What are all of these dreams?” I thought. “Clangeddin help me,” I said out loud. Shaking off the moment, I took in what my friends had done during my brief but strange drow poison-induced sleep.

Everyone was milling around. The elves were saying that they wanted to leave and find our way above ground. Looking at us as a whole, I argued that we should find a place underground to hole up in until we could heal our wounds. I was the only one of the bunch that didn’t look like he had spent the last 24 hours being tortured by drow.

Tassar was limping and holding his ribs. William could hardly stand upright, and some of his wounds hadn’t closed properly. Our healer Deitricha was looking pretty frazzled, herself, and made more so by the fact she couldn’t help anyone else today. She had already spent herself helping us survive the battle with the beholder, Drow, Red Wizard, and Gnolls.

Finally I gave in to my lady. I agreed that, after we checked out the stone tablets the Red Wizard was checking, we would try to go above ground. (Though I still mumbled my displeasure about the decision for all to hear.)

Heading over to the other room, we checked out the stone tablets the Red Wizard had been scribing earlier. Having parchment, I agreed to make rubbings of them all as they deemed them important. As the others could read dwarven, I really didn’t listen as I worked on the rubbings.

I did look up to see Tassar dancing around with the Beholder’s eye stalks; he had cut them off and was making them talk like hand puppets. I had to crack a smile. Even in that much pain a halfling could have fun.

Information rubbed, I tried listening to what they were saying about what was on them, though I really didn’t care at the moment. My head full of dark tidings. Listening for the Drow or Orcs to return at this point, I went into a sullen mood. I knew we were in trouble. Or maybe it was just my bad dream running over into the real world. Either way, I was not interested in small talk. “Let’s go,” I said.

Ranking up, Theona and Tassar led the way. We skirted along at a pretty good pace, retracing our steps back to where we entered this place. Amazingly, we didn’t run into any resistance along the way.

Coming to the original double doors we didn’t choose, Theona looked them over and we opened them. A large room with another pair of large double doors lay on the other side of it. We could see arrow slits and oil holes in the ceiling. Fearing there may be traps, Theona started to check the room.

Tassar quickly grew bored, walked around the room’s edge, and threw open the doors on the other side. A bright sunny day greeted him for his efforts. Seeing it wasn’t trapped we all quickly followed.

Areon almost seemed healed by the outside air. Theona became as giddy as the night we shared our wonderful dinner in the City of Doors. (After the heavy drinking, of course.)

The rest just looked down the old dwarven road, and talked about going home. I looked down the road and made a map in my head. “This place needs taken back by the dwarves,” I thought.

There being no place in the area to hide and rest, we decided to make our way down to the Moonwood below. No one was comfortable being so heavily exposed. We could see for miles, and therefore be seen for miles. Moving at a rapid pace Areon decided to travel at point.

As we approached the wood’s edge, he came running back and told us of an orc war party heading this way. Quickly, we dispersed behind some rocks. Areon, Theona, and Tassar on one side, William, Deitricha, and myself on the other.

At first it seemed all right. Then, as a group, our side of the road was noticed by the fifteen orcs, three larger orcs, and two dire boars. “Clangeddin, we are in trouble,” I thought. As the band charged our way, I saw William draw first blood as he dropped an ugly orc archer with a pair of magic missiles.

Sensing no escape, I charged into the center of the group, quickly felling an orc with a quick axe swipe, and turning a back swing into one of the larger orc’s chest. It was a powerful blow. Though it didn’t even seem to faze him; he just got a wild and sinister look in his eyes.

I was surrounded within seconds by another large orc and two more small orcs. The two large orcs got off quick attacks that caught me hard. I had to catch my breath. These weren’t any run-of-the-mill orcs. They hit like an ogre.

Seeing two more magic missiles fly by, I listened for and heard the tell-tale death gurgle. William had gotten another one. Then I heard the twang of bows. Several orcs in the party started to shout in pain.

Brought back to my own situation, I quickly took a large swing and dropped a smaller foe, again hitting the large orc with the back swing. He grunted at my effort and caught me with a glancing blow with his sword. His two remaining comrades both missed, luckily.

Somewhere in the distance I heard Deitricha scream. A large burst of flame erupted in Williams direction. Tassar yelled something about, “A glorious day for Tempus.”, but was eerily cut off in mid-sentence.

Catching the last small orc with a heavy blow, he dropped to the ground. Turning my axe to the large orc I had been hitting, I struck home with my axe a third time. At least this time I could see fear register in his beady pig-like eyes. Again I was struck from behind by the other large orc. I definitely knew I was bleeding from several places at this point.

Hearing Theona scream put me into a rage. I ripped the one orc I had been hitting nearly in half, then charged in her general direction. I couldn’t see her at this point with all of the boulders between us.

Rounding a large boulder I saw Deitricha “Fly” past me and pick up a crumpled Tassar from the ground. Rubbing my eyes, I looked again. Yes, she was definitely flying.

Watching her, I nearly ran headfirst into the dire boar that had dropped Tassar. I slammed my axe into him. At the same time the large orc caught me from behind again. It luckily was only a glancing blow.

Areon, Theona, and the flying Deitricha were slowly whittling down their oposition. I tried a new technique. I hit the dire boar and tried side stepping him. It seemed to work, as both the boar and the large orc missed me with their attacks. I repeated the attack process to the same effect.

I heard Theona scream and looked up in time to see Areon drop to the ground under the attack of the other dire boar. She was pointing a wand at it.

I over handed the dire boar I was fighting with a mammoth attack; it teetered, then dropped to its back, twitched, and then grew still. Not having time to rejoice, I turned to fight the large orc behind me.

As I turned, we slammed into each other. He reacted first with a heavy swing of his sword. Dropping to a knee, his attack went high. I then came up with a blow to his ribs, definitely catching something important. He was heavily favouring his side after that.

Lunging forward, he caught my leg. Blood ran freely from the wound. I paced a little to my left and was trying to take advantage of his injured side, while protecting my injured right leg, whan a rock hit me from the back. Barely having time to swing, I fell forward and cleaved for all I was worth. My axe rang true. I felt the death shudder as he fell from my axe, eyes already closed.

Wheeling to see this new foe, I found Deitricha flying by, apologizing for the errant shot from her sling. Recouping my bearings, I charged over to help Theona who was chopping up an already dead dire boar.

Surveying the field, not a foe stood. Though only three companions stood at the moment. Areon stirred on the ground, and healed himself some with a wand he held in his hand. He then rose to his feet.

Deitricha flew Tassar to the group and laid him on the ground. I tossed her back the healing potion she had given me the day before. Told her that, “Tassar needs it more then I do.” She thanked me with a relieved look in her eyes. Within a few moments he was up and about, though definitely hurting.

At this point Deitricha started to cry. She told us of William’s valiant last stand. His burst of flame killed several orcs before he was gored to death by the dire boar.

All brought to sadness by this news, we went to gather his body. I thought about this great victory. How shallow it ran in comparison to the loss of another friend and companion. How the real battle was lost when I gave in to leaving the underground before we were ready.

Burying William, we all stood silent while Deitricha blessed his passing into the nether world. Regaining composure, we gathered up the orc bodies. Theona looted them as we went. I dropped the couple of stone tablets I had taken from the library by them. We then placed some of the drow weapons and armour around the bodies, making it look like a drow ambush.

Hobbling together as a group, we staggered off to find a safe place to hide and rest. At this point we couldn’t fend off an angry kobold. As we moved off, I started to think of how I could immortalize this fallen friend in song.......

Posted by Erik at 08:24 | Rosorc’s Journal

The Noise

Beowulf's Journal

The noise Shadow heard was just some small animals fighting. Nothing major. so we walked north for a day and we’re now resting in a small aclove with some rabbit for dinner. I haven’t seen any signs of life aside from the animals of the forest; Shadow and I, however, will take turns watching in case of trouble. come morning we’ll probably will head further north to the edge of the forest then veer east walking the outskirt. Orcs and ogres are prominent in these areas I know, but there is a small Illuskan community not two days walk from there. I hope to visit with some friends I haven’t seen in a while and maybe get some trail rations. Foraging for food is tricky at best, even for the most experienced. I heard some very loud sounds off in the distance. I don’t like it, but I do need to look so Shadow and I are off rather quickly. I’ll write soon.

Posted by Fred at 14:09 | Beowulf’s Journal